08 August 2009

The Marti/Julia Project

I want to go see "Julie & Julia," which judging by the buzz it is generating, will likely be one of the top movie releases for this weekend. The other new release this weekend is "GI Joe," (I refuse to link this movie in. Google it yourself, if you must know more.) and nobody knocks 'tweens and teens out of their market-making position.
"Julie & Julia" is the real-life story of Julie Powell, a young newly-married resident of Long Island City, NY who wants a writing job and needs to learn to cook, so she begins the "Julia Project," which is year-long effort to cook her way through Julia Child's classic "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," and blog about it the entire way. Clever, huh? If you read her posts, it actually is very clever.
Then her blog became so popular that she got a book deal. And a movie deal. Life gets better and better, doesn't it? Good for her!
The movie is being relished by fans of Meryl Streep, who plays Julia Child, as she does all her roles, with aplomb and gusto. (So tempted by write "a-plum" but I stopped myself.)

The cinematic release plays back and forth between both women's lives. Watching Meryl Streep play Julia Child is more visual candy for my gluttonous little movie-loving soul. So I have promised myself that I shall get there.
In counterpoint, the portrayal is not pleasing to actual friends of Julia Child, who say that the lady herself (who passed in 2004, two days short of her 92nd birthday) didn't like the "Julie/Julia Project." She felt like Julie Powell was usurping her name and brand for personal benefit. She didn't approve or appreciate the little upstart from New York. Sigh.
I've not seen the movie. But I will. Until then, I've decided to begin the Marti/Julia project. I've decided to walk around in very tall shoes (Julia herself was 6'2"), trilling in a high falsetto and using words like "marvelous souffle-y concoction" and tossing the word "bechamel" into every third sentence.
Hmmm, "Marti/Julia Project." It just doesn't have the same ring, does it? Oh well. Bon appetit!


Dirtius Wifius said...

I have a reporter friend who interviewed Julia Child for some piece she was doing for an east-coast newspaper. She said Julia Child told her that she didn't like to cook. Ever. Said she had only done it because she found out she was good at it and could make money at it.

According to the previews, she wanted to learn how to cook because she liked to eat. Maybe she got crotchety in her old age.

The movie is based on the blog/book by Julie, but it's also based on Julia's biography (or auto? I'm not sure) and it intertwines the two lives.

I want to see it either way.

Echo said...

Saw the movie. Liked it very much. Julia is portrayed as a person with tremendous joie de vivre, which may or may not have been entirely accurate. Julie Powell comes off as a neurotic. At any rate, I went to my bookshelf and resurrected the 1975 "From Julia's Kitchen" and proceeded to whip up an omelette using her "Swish and Jerk" technique. Results were spectacular.