Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It should be Julia first, then Julie

A full biographical film on the life of Julia Child would have, should have, could have been more appealing than the two-story combo now in theaters.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed Julie & Julia, mostly for its entertainment value but also for what seemed to be a fact-based portrayal of how Julia Child got her start and how she became the "mother" of modern American cooking and the entire movement to higher quality cooking and eating.

(The Food Network, Anthony Bourdain and Top Chef, among many others, can thank Julia for raising awareness of good food well prepared, allowing American society to accept such an inundation of programming devoted to cooking and eating.)

What the movie paid only passing attention to were the behind-the-scenes details of not only Julia Child's professional life but of Julie Powell's. A for-instance: No one washed a pot, a pan or a dish during the film's 124 minutes. Not that such a scene would have added a lot, but let's be realistic: When the cooking and eating are done, cleanup awaits.

I have read parts of Julia Child's biography and all of "Julie & Julia" by Julie Powell, and the essence of both is captured by the film.

I simply would have enjoyed more, much more, of Julia Child's life.

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