Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Julie and Julia

I went to see Julie and Julia this weekend with my mother and Daughter E. I love Meryl Streep, I'm kind of a foodie and I enjoyed Julie Powell's book so I looked forward to the film. What I forgot was that a lot of Nora Ephron's work is crap.

Everything you have heard and read about Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci is true so I won't go into it here. The modern day side of the story really gets short-changed though. Contrary to what other reviewers have said, this isn't Amy Adams's fault. The screenplay spends so much time on Jula Child that it omits much of the flavor (pardon the pun) of Powell's book. Structurally I understand what Ephron is going for here, but she has stripped away everything that makes Powell an interesting or sympathetic person. We get to see her as a wife and see the role of writing in her life, but we miss out on her wit and her relationship to the food.

As a woman and a film snob, I'm glad to see studios taking chances on films that feature women and those that are created by women. I mean, I loves me some Mamma Mia! in spite of its flaws. This is a good step both for women and for art. I just hope that they will open the doors a little wider to welcome women other than Ephron and a few others.

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