Monday, February 22, 2010

A Review: From Blog To Blister, I Mean Uh, Blockbuster (Actually It Wasn't A Blockbuster, I Just Typed That Cuz It Rhymed)

Julie & Julia opens in France, 1949 as a car is being lowered from of a ship into the country. We watch as the blue (Ford?) travels down the tree-lined countryside road on it's way to Paris. And then we hear them, the first words Julia Childs bellows out in a painstaking attempt to learn the beautiful French language. We knew that this is Meryl doing what she does best: the real thing, no cheap imitations, only transcendentals of self to character.

Nora Ephron is responsible for the light-hearted, whimsical and lovely pieces and hits such as Sleepless In Seattle, You've Got Mail, Michael and the great When Harry Met Sally. But of course as of ate, she has also subjected us to the likes of Bewitched and Lucky Numbers. But now, dusting off four years of chill-axin', she has returned with the cutesy and richness we loved about her and remember with the Julie & Julia. 

In short the movie is really two, Julia Child's (Streep) story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell's (Adams) 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child's first book. I love watching Amy Adams do her thing, and we both know what a treat is is to see Meryl, but to be quiet honest, I didn't give a damn about this film besides the fact that Streep is in it, killin' it again. AS much as I like Adams, I knew off the bat, this wasn't a film she picked t bend over the academy voters. But Streep did of course, pulling a deserved nod for Best Actress in a Leading Role. And I wasn't surprised that as soft and sweet as the film was, by the third act, it was running very short of steam. Coming up with weak little dramas between Adam's Julie Powell and her her husband just to keep us on "edge". I coulda did with out it, as well about 30 minutes of what seemed to me like filler. This move is not a date, film, is not a chick film, it is a woman's film. Something for the Old-Gal-Gang to go see on a Sunday afternoon. But that should not suggest that it isn't good, it's just, well... blehh a little.

Streep holds it down and makes it interesting to watch as she slips her quirky rendition of Child into our minds and heart. With the tall staure, fluffy black curls like a hat almost and the goofy-yet-elegant voice, she wins us over, as she does with anybody else the character encounters in the movie. And man, it was a treat to see her back with her buddy Tucci (who murdered his part in Lovely Bones see my review of the film and Tucci's performance here).

Tucci and Streep keep the film on the high rise. Steep as the gleefully exuberant and loving life (mostly in Paris and the kitchen) recalls to us Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky, as the optimism-over-bleak reality view in her eyes. Tucci, always at her side and supporting her as they go through the life we see in contrast to Julie Powell's own in 2002, attempting to blog the exploits of the cook book she loves so much.

As a look into the life of Child herself, the film accomplished what it wanted to do, I could care less about a blogger who simply wants to fill her day and write online fulled initially by jealousy of her journalist/blogger friend. though, it does paint a cute picture of a devoted husband, paralleling the same situation as Child and her man. And they do a nice job, casting Adams as the lovable geeky and longing-for-more Julie Powell, and make seem almost like a chosen vessel to revive the cook book of books. But at the end of the day, and how cute it was, and original and cool the angle was of mirroring the store is so similar, one could only assume how much richer the film would have seemed, if we weren't simply waiting for Streep to tramps back onto the screen and delight us with her presence, and her witty devoted husband.

As I mentioned before, Streep grabbed the nod for Best leading Actress in the current Oscar race. She already won best Actress in a Comedy at Golden Globes. It looks as if the current consensus is that Streep will be pitted against Sandra Bullock in her "I'm Back And Better Everyone!" role in the football hit The Blind Side. She's been picking up a few of the awards along the way herself, grabbing a tie with  Streep herself for Best Actress in a drama at the Golden Globes. So we'll see what's what when I review that soon, and then we'll know who really deserves it, Bullock has "Blind Sided" everyone with her turn as the fierce southern adoptive mother and flipped everyone on their heads after a string of duds and a little while out of the game itself. I'll let you suckas know what's really good with performance of hers in a little bit. it could be jsut hype and bandwagon, much like I feel Slumdog was, or maybe, she's the real deal?

Munki Out.

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