Well, 'Bone Appe . . . teet!'
We just returned from seeing the hilarious stew that is Julie & Julia and I can warrant you one thing with some certainty: Just as Michael Jackson's albums have been flying off the racks, post mortem, soon too will 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking', again.
And another: Boeuf Bourguignon will be the surprise hit of the autumn, and as ubiquitous on fall restaurant menus as last year's short ribs. (Note to self: better stock up on cross-rib before it
The movie is a joy. You already know the story: a young New York civil servant blogs her way through the more than 500 recipes in MAFC in a calendar year. Then lands a book and movie deal while preserving her marriage and considerably extending her circle of friends.
The interface between this story-line and that of the creation of the MAFC itself, and the history of the itinerant Childs (Paul Child is gracefully, and understatedly, played by Stanley Tucci - is it a coincidence that he has starred in the two best English language food movies of all time?); Julia Child delightfully by Meryl Streep (and yes, they hired a lot of jockey-short extras to pull it off); Julie Powell by Amy Adams. The screenplay, by Nora Ephron, is tighter than a stuffed coquelet
. The only down-note is the character of Julie Powell's husband, played by Chris Messina, whose ham-fisted acting oversteps (his character has the table manners of a goat - watching him eat his brushcetta is painful), and is distracting in the first two reels. Eh bien, tant pis
- even he is smoothed as the stew thickens.
Wonderful touches abound of post-war Paris and its food stalls, the imperious owner of Le Cordon Bleu, the Child's Buick Roadmaster station wagon (got woody?)gavotting down narrow alleys, Black Ops corresdpondences, references to Joe McCarthy, and finally, after nearly a decade of writing and trial and error recipe-testing, the publication of the 700-page brick that it is now in its 49th printing.
As I mentioned above, no doubt that will be 50 come autumn, as sure as braises.
Edited by jamiemaw, 12 July 2009 - 11:06 AM.