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Julie and Julia

September 17, 2015

JAJThis film is based on a true story. Julia Child, the wife of the American Cultural Attaché newly appointed to Paris in 1949, stops in Rouen for a meal where Julia is served Sole Meunière in a sumptuous butter sauce. So begins her passion for French cuisine. She enrols in a French cooking class and is introduced to two French women who have been attempting to publish a cookery book to teach Americans how to cook French recipes. They recruit Julia to help improve the manuscript. This becomes a labour of love and eventually is successfully published in 1961 as Mastering the Art of French Cooking, now on its 40th Edition. The book launched Julia Childs in the USA as a TV cook who was a regular broadcaster for over 35 years.

Ambition – Julie’s regular lunch-time meetings with old friends are clearly events she attends more out of duty than desire. Her three friends make all the running in the conversation discussing their promotions and multi-million dollar property deals. While they consider themselves high-flyers and measure success by job status, Julie is uncomfortable as she cannot compete. For her, life isn’t about financial success or climbing the corporate ladder, but about creative self-expression and making connections with people.

 Creativity – Julia and Julie are both passionate about taking fresh ingredients and transforming them into something truly stunning – to look at and taste. The writing and publishing of Julia’s book offer her a sense of fulfilment, but it is the cooking itself that gives her the greatest thrill. Julie also has a natural affinity with cooking – although there is no indication of any prior formal training. In combining the creativity released by Julia’s recipes with the creativity of writing a blog, Julie also finds fulfilment.

Marriage – Key to both Julie and Julia are their marriage relationships. Both women struggle to find a fulfilling self-identity in the shadow of their seemingly secure husbands. Nevertheless, it is through their respective husbands that first Julia goes to Cordon Bleu cookery lessons and Julie takes on the challenge of blogging about her cooking. In both partnerships, cooking brings the couples closer as they face their different challenges.

Paul Child: What is it you REALLY like to do?
Julia Child: Eat!

Julia Child: Don’t be afraid!

Paul Child: Your book is going to change the world.

 

Paul Child: [to Julia] You are the butter to my bread, you are the breath to my life.
[later echoed by Julie Powell to Eric Powell]

Julie Powell: I have to murder and dismember a crustacean

Paul Child: [after telling Julia that she should be on television, & she laughs] I’m not kidding you; I’m not. Someone is going to publish your book. Someone is going to read your book, and realize what you’ve done. Because YOUR BOOK is amazing. YOUR BOOK is a work of genius. YOUR BOOK is going to change the world.

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