Friday, December 11, 2009

Julie & Julia is jaunty & joyous

     Released on DVD this Tuesday was Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams (who also costarred together in last year's Doubt).  I was lucky enough to have it delivered the day it was released from Netflix, and though I had heard mixed reviews, I loved it.  It has been mentioned for possible Oscar nods, though it is not expected to take any big awards.  Led by two plucky actresses (even if they both had terrible hair in this movie), the twin stories sparkled.  It had great pacing; I never once got bored.  The movie is based on two true stories, as it says in the opening, and it is nice to note that the movie is fairly rooted in reality itself.

     Bouncing back and forth between Julie Powell, an insurance worker in New York City a few years after 9/11, and Julia Child, the famous American-French chef, the transitions never seemed forced, and it was always easy to follow.  There were no outlandish twists, and I was pleased the writer didn't feel the need to force more connection between the two than there actually was.

     Adding to the pleasure were the husbands, played by Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina.  Supportive, yet different.  Both couples, though much more so the modern one, had their share of martial disputes, and yet the viewer was left with no doubt that they were part of solid, lasting love stories (at least as portrayed on screen).  There was much effort made to let the audience feel what it must be like to be married to such a powerful woman, and it added to the realism and the charm.

     Do I think it will be a dark horse in the Oscar race?  Not really.  But I do recommend this film as a feel good movie for some cold, winter night.  You will not be disappointed, and it is probably better than many of the movies that will actually take home the prizes.

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