While I don't outright disagree with Herald critic Rene Rodriguez's review of Julie & Julia - what he writes is right on target - I have to admit I liked the movie a bit more than he did. We both loved Meryl Streep as the iconic Julia Child; to nobody's surprise, Streep is excellent, and I felt nothing but pure delight every time she strode into a scene shouting "Bonjour!" Rene is spot-on in his descriptions of Streep's physicality, how she uses her body and voice to conjure up the larger-than-life personality of the woman she's portraying.
I had more patience than Rene did with the modern-day story of blogger Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams), though I wouldn't deny that this story lacks conflict and that the fight between Julie and her husband seems totally manufactured to lend a bit of drama. Still, there's something intriguing to me about working one's way through this cookbook. I am not a bad cook, but I am an unambitious one, and the idea of deboning a duck or making buerre blanc or fiddling around with aspic (ewww) intrigues me. (OK, maybe not the aspic part, that just grosses me out.) I mean, I'll never actually do it, but I enjoy watching someone else struggle on through while I throw together a white bean and arugula salad.
And I have to confess:I haven't eaten red meat for three years, but looking at that beef bourginon that Julie makes (not the one she burns) shook me to my carnivorous core.
I haven't read Powell's book - her new one, the intriguingly titled Cleaving: A Story of Meat, Marriage and Obsession, is due out Dec. 1 - but the movie certainly makes me want to give it a shot.