When I heard that Meryl Streep had been cast as Julia Child in Nora Ephron’s new biopic, Julie & Julia, I put my grouchy pants on. Fine-featured, delicate Streep as Amazonian, earthy Julia? Sacre bleu!
Well, score one for Meryl.
Streep is absolutely winning in this part, which chronicles Julia’s move to France in 1949 and her two greatest love affairs: with French cuisine and with her loyal, doting husband Paul (Stanley Tucci, who after The Devil Wears Prada is becoming Streep’s true partner in charm.) She gets the trilling voice right, the towering stature, and the sensual pleasure Julia took in food. What’s more, she captures the great chef’s joie de vivre. There’s a buoyancy to Streep’s performance that is completely irresistible.
That’s the Julia part of our story. The Julie part focuses on a modern-day low-level bureaucrat (Amy Adams), who is feeling unfulfilled in her life. She and her very own doting husband (Chris Messina) cook up a madcap idea: She will recreate every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art...