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August 13, 2009

Divine Julia

Filed under: Books,Celebrity,Cookbooks,French Food — Mr. Henry @ 10:33 am


That’s the watchword for the new Nora Ephron movie, Julie & Julia, in which Meryl Streep once again proves herself to be the screen actress without peer. Like the food she prepares, her performance is simply scrumptious.

“What do you like to do?” Paul asks Julia.

“Eat!” she says with her inimitable hoot. “I like to eat!”

And from this moment of insight, as simple as it is penetrating, a woman accustomed to getting things done set about to change the way Americans eat.


But how did Julie Powell swing this book deal and then this movie deal? To be portrayed by Amy Adams, and to garner Meryl Streep as your star takes moxie.

Amy Adams bubbles with her usual performance – perky and cute – with an occasional dramatic reach into pouty and cute. The angst of wanting to be a writer, however, is nowhere shown convincingly on screen.


Having taken a look at Julie Powell’s blog, however, Mr. Henry thinks perhaps Amy Adams may have been appropriately cast after all. It’s no wonder Julia dismissed Julie. Julia was a serious person, someone who wouldn’t waste her time or yours. No matter the subject, Julie writes sentences that are perky and cute spiced here and there with swear words. Like red pepper flakes on overcooked broccoli, it’s both overdone and under-imagined. The tone is breathy, squishy and, most damning, cheerful.

That Julie learned how to cook through Mastering the Art of French Cooking and took along thousands of readers along with her, however, is indeed commendable. Learning to cook enriches your life and the world around you. If you cook with what the French call intelligence, that is, practical good sense, you will perforce buy good local food which in turn promotes markets for that food.


Mr. Henry is not a jealous person but he wonders whether or not Judith Jones, famed Knopf editor, might possibly work him into her schedule. He’s thinking of which actor might portray him in the movie. Tyrone Power, Jr., perhaps?


  1. A young Jeremy Irons would be perfect, me thinks

    Comment by casey — August 13, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

  2. Doubtless there will be competition for the rôle.

    Comment by Mr. Henry — August 13, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

  3. The overnight blogging sensation…it’s really a modern Cinderella tale, isn’t it?

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I did like the book (even if I didn’t fall in love with Julie). And I LOVED My Life in France. Can’t wait to see this.

    Comment by kit pollard — August 14, 2009 @ 12:33 pm

  4. I’m disappointed that this movie will never come to Italy. No one here knows or cares about Julia and the film dubbed would be a wreck. I am hoping that once it is on DVD some relative will think it a perfect housegift.

    Who should play you? Hmmmm, first you have to charm an editor off a branch and get the book contract, or is there something you have not told us?

    Comment by Judith in Umbria — August 25, 2009 @ 1:32 am

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