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Julie and Julia

Julie and Julia is more than just a movie about food. For this blogger it is a great inspiration and a wonderful comfort. Writing is hard, and writing everyday is an enormous undertaking for someone with a full time job. I barely have time to write copy for work let alone a proper post about something meaningful or interesting.

After watching the film, I realized it is up to me to change, to dedicate more time to the things I love, and less to the stressful things and people that make me miserable. What’s better than writing, food and film?

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I have seen Julie and Julia a couple of times, so I prepared by treating myself to a Portobello and spinach salad smothered in goats cheese – good food to celebrate a movie about great food.

The movie centers around three love stories: Julie Powell and her husband Eric, Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and her husband Paul (Stanley Tucci), and the main love story, Julie and her vision of Julia Child. While food serves as the main part of the story, it is love and support that moves the plot along. These two women had incredible support from their partners and this allowed them to follow their dreams, and continue, even through hardship.

Julia Child’s first cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” becomes Powell’s project. The goal: cook every recipe, over 500, in 365 days. The film did an incredible job of showing off the best, and worst, the book had to offer. And by worst I mean aspics, no food should be conformed into a gelatin mold, that saying, I have never tried an aspic but based on the images on Wikipedia, I’m good.

The executive chef on the movie was New York based food stylist, Colin Flynn and Susan Spungen was the culinary consultant. Flynn and Spungen used the original recipes, but took a few liberties in order to make the food fit for the big screen. According to Flynn, via his interview with Amanda Bensen of the Smithsonian, they used potatoes instead of lobster, for the sake of the actors, and choux pastry instead of the soufflé, so it wouldn’t fall on film. 

The actors on the movie Amy Adams and Chris Messina ate bucket loads of food while filming. This may seem like a dream but as Messina said, in an interview with the Examiner, by the seventh or eighth bruschetta it wasn’t about the taste but keeping it in his stomach and not the floor beside him. Lucky for them, Flynn and Spungen had a Hollywood budget and were able to get high quality ingredients, and lots of fresh food, keeping the actors away from the hospital.

Kiri Tannenbaum, at Delish, has complied a list of all the foods sampled or cooked in the film, if you wanted to try for yourself. The Fillet of Sole, cooked in what looked like a pound of butter, may be my next meal.

Julie and Julia is the perfect movie for a dark and gloomy day as the performances are wonderful and the writing and directing (by Nora Ephron) is light-hearted. Some are taken by the beautiful food and others by the heart warming relationships, but Julie and Julia will always be, for me, a movie about writing. The ups and downs and constant evolution of a field that has been around for centuries.

Cook a nice meal, grab some friends and crowd around the television, or computer screen if you’re like me, and take the time to indulge all your senses while watching a great movie.

Bon appetite!

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Categories: Actor, Actress, Food, Movie, Writer

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