17 August 2009

Julie and Julia

To preface this review, be forewarned that I love Meryl Streep and her ability to morph into any character she plays.

I went with some friends to the movie theatre to see Julie and Julia; we went to the 4:15pm show which turned out to have everyone's mother and granny in the audience (I think we might have been the youngest people there, and I'm only 31). After some super-lame commercials and the previews (see below) the movie opened on the arrival of Paul and Julia Child in France....cinema magic. There isn't really anything to criticize in this movie.

True story.

To start with, Meryl Streep is fabulous (fabulous) and the camera and costume tricks to make her look much taller work very well; then there's the voice, Julia Child's voice, that is so perfectly spot-on you'd think it was Julia Child reincarnated on the screen. Amy Adams is terribly cute in that lost-kitten-please-take-me-home way she has about her as a woman trapped in a heartbreaking job trying to find herself again (she has hideous friends, but her super-awesome husband makes up for that). I also have to mention that it is so relieving to see Stanley Tucci in a film where he plays a loving, remarkable man; he's so very good at playing creepy, mean people you forget he can play a nice guy and he does a wonderful job as Paul Child (and works well with Meryl, too).

I do love me a Nora Ephron romantic comedy. Does she make anything else? You've Got Mail and The Holiday are two of my favorites and I think this one might creep up there, too.

I have to warn you....this movie will make you hungry. All of the food looks so fabulous on-screen that your stomach will start growling. Even when Amy Adams is trying to steam live lobsters (not sure if they were actually live or not but that was the implication).

Preview goodness:
1. I can do bad all by myself - I think this is a movie with a great story and premise but the presence of Tyler Perry might tank it for me (I think Madea is kind of "done"); definitely looking forward to seeing Mary J. Blige and Gladys Knight on screen
2. The Blind Side - another good movie with the heartwarming biopic story of the life of Michael Oher; Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw play the parents (Tim McGraw can act?)
3. The Lovely Bones - big screen adaptation of a fantastic book; some of the fantasy elements look to be more than what I imagined but definitely looking forward to seeing this one (Saoirse Ronan is playing Susie Salmon and Saoirse did a great job in Atonement); I do question the wisdom of putting this preview ahead of a romantic comedy, even if Stanley Tucci is in both, because the audiences will be very different
4. 2012 - seriously? you think that grannies want to watch this, too? This was the same cut we saw at the beginning of Transformers 2; aren't there other rom-coms coming out the studio could have slotted here instead?

In the evening we all gathered at Kat's for book club where we discussed (a bit) Oranges are Not the Only Fruit and then attempted to watch the two-part miniseries. I say attempted because it was on VHS and the first tape had a bad reel and got stuck in the VCR; the tape broke so we wound up watching only the second half. It picked up right before Jeanette (Jess in the miniseries) and Melanie develop their sexual relationship; whoever scored the miniseries had some odd fascination with carnival music so everytime Jess experienced pleasure or love there was carnie music. It was pretty freaky, I tell you. The mother was played by Geraldine McEwan (known for playing Alice in Henry V and Miss Marple in the television series, but US audiences might recognize her as the witch/Sherrif's mom in Robin Hood: Prince of Theives) and she did a really good job as a holy roller from industrial North England.


  1. I am so looking forward to see ing Julie & Julia that I'm thinking of taking tomorrow off just to go to the movies. And I thought it interesting that you say the audiences will be different for this and Lovely Bones - since these are both on my must see list. I get it but then, I'm the intended audience here so what does that say exactly? I dunno, but it struck me funny, is all.

  2. Hi Care,

    It is funny in an ironic way. I just thought it odd that a rom-com movie drawing an audience made up of primarily women middle-aged and older, who are likely to be parents, would have a preview for a movie about a child who is abducted, raped, and killed ahead of it (followed by the preview for a big-budget disaster movie); it was odd marketing to me. Usually the previews tend to stay within genre a little more.

    Obviously we don't have to stay within our little "niches" when finding things that entertain and inspire us and if a movie like The Lovely Bones will draw more from all audience types then I'm all for it because Sebold put so much power into the first chapter of that book.

    I hope you like Julie and Julia :)