Julie and Julia
It has been a lovely day here in this part of west London. Unseasonably warm (24 C), and with no wind, it feels foreign. The air seems heavier and stiller than usual, and it cloaks and surrounds in a way that isn't usual here.
Fiona and I went to the cinema, and then took RTL out to Virginia Water (pictured); by this stage the sky was cloudy, with a storm brewing.
We saw Julie and Julia, which is a film I'd wanted to see, and which Fiona had already seen and liked so much she wanted me to see it as well. If she's prepared to watch it twice in a week, that's quite an endorsement.
So Julie (and this is a true-life story) is a blogger who attempts to cook all the recipes in the classic cookbook part authored by Julia Child (Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Beck, Bertholle and Child). The film is part chronicle of this venture; part biography of Julia Child.
The latter part is more successful, and what really makes this film. Meryl Streep's portrayal of Child is engaging, funny and quite moving. Fairly late in life, while living as an American in Paris, Child falls in love with food, trains as a chef, and goes on to make a collaboration with Beck and Bertholle that results in an iconic cookbook.
The relationship with Julia and her husband Paul is beautifully played, and it's a shame that the same can't be said of the interaction between Julie and her rather wooden husband, which is over-sentimentally portrayed and consists of a series of smart one-liners and relationship cliches.
Overall, though, what comes through in this film is a celebration of the love of flavour, and for this reason, I thoroughly recommend it. [Wine interest? Well, there's quite a bit of wine poured, but nowhere do we see a label, although Julie's Boef Bourgignon is cooked with wine from a Bordeaux-shaped bottle.]