Julie & Julia

April 11, 2010 - The true story of a modern-day New Yorker who channels her inner Julia Child and cooks up a recipe for success. Nora Ephron wrote and directed this film based on books by Julie Powell and Julia Child. Amy Adams and Meryl Streep have the title roles.

Adams plays Julie Powell, a married woman on the cusp of 30 and living in Queens in the months following 9/11. She aspires to be a writer but has ended up working for a city agency that helps people affected by the attack. Julie decides that what she needs is a deadline. So, with some urging from her husband, she gives herself one year to cook the 500+ recipes in Julia Child’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She also starts a blog so she can write about her efforts.

Streep plays Julia Child, a married woman who follows her diplomat husband, Paul (Stanley Tucci), to his latest post in France. Julia's story takes place in the era of McCarthyism. While Paul frets about whether he'll be a victim of the Red Scare, Julia pursues cooking with a passion. She fights her way into Le Cordon Bleu and makes friends who enlist her help to translate their French cookbook into something American women will love.

Overall review: **** I'm not sure the movie deserves four stars, but it's getting them because I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. I'm not quite sold yet on Amy Adams, but I thought she handled her role well. Streep, as usual, is fantastic. She makes Julia's story much more compelling than Julie's. Props also to Ephron, who skillfully interweaves the stories of the two women. She seems to do better as a director when she also writes the script (as she did here and in Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail) than when she doesn’t (see Lucky Numbers).