By Sara de Lille
Translated by J.M. Forsythe
…the most difficult dish was the onion soup, because the melted mozzarella had to be seen going from plate to mouth on the screen…
This movie tells the story of Julia Child’s (Meryl Streep) path from novice chef to culinary television superstar. Child’s story is interwoven with Julie Powell’s (Amy Adams). Powell writes a blog in which she chronicles her adventures cooking Child’s 524 recipes. Both women are connected by the experience of their culinary initiation and, at the same time, by their married lives and their journeys to success.
The movie represents not only the story of two food lovers but also the revolution that Child caused when she broke into the world of chefs and introduced French recipes to North America housewives. Similarly revolutionary are the repercussions of Julie’s writing in a contemporary media like the Internet and, more specifically, the world of blogs.
Julia Child became all the rage in North American kitchens; she was a media idol who made gourmet cuisine accessible to housewives. Her program The French Chef was on the air for more than ten years and earned numerous accolades. Streep’s performance as Child is impeccable; not only does she imitate her physically (she gained weight for the part) but also reflects her voice and charisma constantly. In addition to the superb acting, culinary consultant Susan Spunge’s work is highly noteworthy. Every dish is real and seduces the eyes and the appetite of the viewer.
According to Spunge, the most difficult dish was the onion soup, because the melted mozzarella had to be seen going from plate to mouth on the screen. She actually had to use an electric paint mixer to achieve the desired effect. And for Child’s fans, it seems that the most complicated dish is lobster, owing to the fact that it must be cooked while still alive.