New on DVD: Julie and Julia

New on DVD: Julie and Julia

Oscar predictions are swirling and one of this film’s stars is in the middle of all the talk. Julia Child (Meryl Streep) is famous for changing the way people ate in North America with a French cookbook written for Americans in 1961. Julie and Julia shows Child as she arrived in Paris, desperately seeking a […]


Oscar predictions are swirling and one of this film’s stars is in the middle of all the talk.

Julia Child (Meryl Streep) is famous for changing the way people ate in North America with a French cookbook written for Americans in 1961. Julie and Julia shows Child as she arrived in Paris, desperately seeking a hobby to occupy her time while her husband Paul (Stanley Tucci) was at work. Not taking to hat making or bridge, Paul suggests she take cooking lessons at Le Cordon Bleu. Child flourishes despite the head of the school’s distaste for her. About 40 years later, Julie Powell (Amy Adams) finds herself in a rut, so she decides to cook her way through her idol’s 524 recipes in one year. The writer in Powell leads to her to record the ups and downs of each day in a blog.

Running a little over two hours, the movie feels a little long; however, the unessential parts are mostly the sections about Powell. Streep’s portrayal of Child is so energetic and engaging, Adams’ Powell tends to fall flat in comparison. In addition, Powell’s bland yet slightly neurotic personality is not nearly as captivating.

Streep is magnificent as Child, who was quite the interesting character. She’s likeable, funny and a little odd. The other highly enjoyable element in the film is the blissful, loving relationship between Child and her husband. Their relationship is supportive and they complement each other perfectly. What this means is both Streep and Tucci deliver wonderful performances.

Similarly, there is nothing actually wrong with Adams’ acting; rather, she is simply lost in the shadow of Streep/Child. Her scenes pale in comparison to Child’s and she is not nearly as captivating. Furthermore, her drab appearance detracts from her usually warm personality.

The special features include: commentary with writer/director Nora Ephron and “Secret Ingredients,” the making of Julie and Julia.