REVIEW: ‘Julie and Julia’

Director:
Nora Ephron
Cast:
Meryl Streep
Amy Adams
Stanley Tucci
Chris Messina

One biopic isn’t enough? How about two.

“Julie and Julia” follows the lives of titular characters, both famous for their cooking. The film explores Julia Child (Streep) and her adventure in publishing a book on French cuisine as well as Julie Powell (Adams) who cooked all of Child’s recipes and wrote about the experience in a blog.

Both stories, while relatively unrelated, are interwoven by exploring similar issues, challenges and joys as their adventures go on.

The result is a charming, enjoyable picture that explores the lives of two women who both take on some challenges and overcome them. Partially helping in the story telling was that the movie did include two different people related by the subject of cooking, rather than being a more typical biopic.

Sometimes biopics can be a bit boring, as they only go from point A to point B in a person’s life. In “Julie and Julia,” though, the film is able to explore the women a bit deeper by examining how they both respond to the same recipes and other life aspects.

Of course, this only works because of the phenomenal performances of the actresses, who bring the characters to life. Streep is wonderful as Julia Child, humanizing a very famous person. Adams, meanwhile, displays both the respect her character has for Child while also capturing the emotion of what’s going on in her life.

With all that said, though, the movie isn’t without its flaws. The pacing here is a bit slow at times, there is some unnecessary melodrama and the film doesn’t have much of a climax.

However, because of the strong performances and charming stories, “Julie and Julia” works just like comfort food. 4 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, and I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2009 graduate of Rainy River College and a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University in Moorhead. At MSU, I studied journalism and film. Outside of movies, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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