Friday, May 16, 2014

Foodie Film Friday - Julie & Julia

I've decided to try and write a regular post each Friday in which I review a 'foodie film'.  I love watching films, especially ones where food features prominently, so why not share that with others?  I'm going to watch a wide variety of films, from light-hearted rom-coms to more serious dramas and maybe a couple of documentaries along the way.  So if you're not as keen on film one week, hopefully the next will be better!

I'm going to start with one of my favourite films as it is one of the things which inspired me to start a blog in the first place.  I am of course talking about Julie & Julia.  This is a wonderful film starring Amy Adams as Julie Powell, a woman who decides to cook her way through Julia Child's (played by Meryl Streep) cookbook in a year and blog about her progress.  This is intertwined with the story of how Julia became a professional cook

Film cover - Julie & Julia

I love watching Julie persevere with her (somewhat ridiculous) challenge through the ups and downs it, and life, throw at her.  I guess I feel a sense of empathy with her frustrations with the (somewhat outdated) cookbook - haven't we all tried to follow a recipe at some point or another which was either a bit past it's time or a little beyond our capabilities?

Julie's escapades in the kitchen are interspersed with scenes following Julia Child as, in her mid-thirties, she decides to train as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and takes us through the process (and at times ordeal) of trying to get her first cookbook published while following her husband (a diplomat played by Stanley Tucci) round Europe.

This film may be light-hearted but it is really fun to watch from watching Julie eat her first egg to de-boning a duck.  This is a must-watch for foodies.

I read the book last year that this film is based on and I have to say I was disappointed.  I much prefered the film which portrays Julie as a far more likeable person than she is in the book, where she comes across as incredibly self-absorbed and lacking perspective.

Book cover - Mastering the Art of French Cooking

As for the cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I flicked through a copy while I was in Paris.  There's a wonderful English language bookshop there called Shakespeare & Co, which features briefly in the film, and they had a couple of copies in their cookery section.  I must admit I would rather like a copy, if only to read in my spare time, as many of the recipes appear to be very complicated and time-consuming!

Keep an eye out for this bookshop in the film!
At the end of each post I'm going to include a rating, my personal opinion of the film and I'll also indicate the type of film it is (where 1 is serious and 5 is light-hearted) as well as how prominently food is featured (where 1 is prominently and 5 is barely).

My rating: 5/5 (because it is one of my favourite films)
Serious - lighthearted: 4/5
How prominently food is featured: 2/5

If you have any foodie film recommendations please pop them in the comments below!

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