JULIE/JULIA CHILD by MarkWShulkin
A very good, -feel good- but not perfect movie that dragged a little during the Julie flashbacks, probably because Merle Streep s Julia scenes were so great that Julie s scenes suffered by comparison. Merle seems a cinch for a best actress Oscar. She so stole the show that other good performances like that of her soft spoken husband, Stanley Tucci, who made her seem even bigger than life, and that of her outspoken sister, won t get the recognition they deserve. The photography, the music accompaniments, casting , and makeup people were also deserving ;though the editing could have been better if it had shortened some of the Julie scenes.
The Plot: The comparison of two women who, though of a different generation almost 20 years apart in ages, had the similar experience of feeling life meaningless and of finding a hobby-cooking- to fulfill themselves. Both handicapped by gender discrimination, undergo hardships and disappointments, The crisis part of their stories, their disappointments and facing of failure, is not as catastrophic as in most stories but eventually both women prevail with a -feel good- Happy Ending. The villains are the American publishers, capitalist -profit greedy- misguided in their agreement with the French cooking school teacher that Americans are too insensitive to appreciate French cooking.
In contrast to these villains, the men in the movie seem angelic- the two husbands and the French chef teacher- compared to Julie s cell phone addicted women friends who make her feel inadequate with their successes, to her stereotypical bad mother, and also compared to ADD afflicted Julie herself who though only in her late 20 s is portrayed as an inadequate housekeeper, an inexperienced writer, and as a not so hot love maker until she gets 65 answering Machine success messages and gives her husband the sex he d been wanting all his married life. She is violating Julia Child s copyright, while expecting Julia Child to love her and her self absorption causes her husband to temporarily leave her,
Lots of Projection
All of the -projection in this movie was not from the projection booth. Julie used a lot of it. As Julie s husband said to her - your Julia Child is the Julia Child of your mind-. Julie s immaturity is easily excused by her youth. But how about the over idealized portrayal of Julia Child. She’s a war hero/CIA intelligence genius who continues her heroine role in bringing long food rationed suffering post WWII Americans the ecstasy of French cuisine. Money is not her motive. She is so above the usual human concerns about weight and appearance that she indulges herself in food sampling gluttony. Julia Child is a good and loyal friend to everyone. She graciously accepts her husband s frequent job relocations, She is never discouraged by publishing setbacks. What s more, she didn’t marry until 40 and we are to believe that she is so passionately in love with her husband that she satisfies him in bed as if she were a sexual athlete. Oh, spare me such fantasies. Get real Julia!
In contrast Julie s success was due to her good timing in being able to master the then new technology of blogging- along with the general public s appetite for French recipes without having the expense of buying Julia Child s book. In summary, this is a very good, not to be missed movie, but not a perfect one. I appreciated seeing Julie s life of not so quiet desperation while comparing it to my own. I, too, was once young and survived it.