Julia and Wotzername

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Julia and Wotzername

Post by DotNotInOz on Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:09 pm

Okay, I read the book Julie and Julia because the premise intrigued me although I really wondered at the obsessiveness of trying to cook every recipe in Child's famed Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year.

Sadly, the most interesting parts were the background information about Child and the creation of MTAOFC. Then, I got to the part where Powell, its author, mentioned that she hoped to get an opportunity to meet Julia Child, or at least to hear from the famous author and chef what Child thought of Powell's endeavor and was disappointed when Child expressed distaste for the whole idea.

What did she expect? That Child would be flattered and enthralled by the fact that someone was going to make EVERY recipe in the book? It was a silly idea, since anyone who's ever used a cookbook knows that there will be some recipes that don't sound the least bit appetizing no matter how famous the cookbook. Only a fanatic would even try to make EVERY recipe in a cookbook, particularly one as complex as this one.

And at bottom, I simply don't believe the hype that Powell sought to do this to "teach herself to cook." BULL! Complete bull. You would have to be a reasonably adept cook to tackle most of the recipes in Mastering. I know, because I had a book club copy of it and rapidly concluded that most of them would be far too expensive and time-consuming. Also, I simply didn't feel that I had the necessary skills to go about deboning a duck, for example. Yeah, my mom had taught me to cut up a chicken, but that was about as much poultry dismemberment as I cared to tackle.

So, we're supposed to believe that Powell did about two a day every day for a year "to learn to cook," although she does admit to cutting corners here and there because she didn't have some ingredients. All this while she was working as a temp who often, according to her, didn't get home until 8 or 9 p.m. so that she and her husband frequently didn't sit down to dinner till nearly midnight. And yet, she apparently managed nevertheless to drag out and get to work again the next day.

Now, you tell me A) How many working women have the energy to spend three or four hours fixing an elaborate recipe after a full day's work? B) When did she find the time to shop for all the ingredients and then undertake techniques that she implies she was almost completely unfamiliar with when she began this project? C) Who did all the cleanup, their cat?

I simply don't believe her.

That said, Amy Adams does a competent job of portraying the author in the movie, although she often doesn't appear to be having much fun. Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci are tremendous as Julia and Paul Child. At times, I almost had to remind myself that it was Streep portraying Child, she had the voice and mannerisms down so beautifully.

Too bad they didn't make a movie of Child's autobiography, My Life In France. Now that WOULD have been interesting!
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Re: Julia and Wotzername

Post by Davelaw on Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:54 am

I want to see Julia when she was a killer for Wild Bill DonovaN
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Re: Julia and Wotzername

Post by gillyflower on Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:26 am

I adored Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci! They played such wonderful characters!

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Re: Julia and Wotzername

Post by DotNotInOz on Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:46 am

Fortunately, most of the segments about the Childs are drawn from Child's autobiography. Have you read it, Gilly?

I've rarely been so disappointed in a book as I was in Powell's. Too soon it became clear that Powell wasn't a "foodie" writer as I perceive them, along the lines of Ruth Reichl or...funniest thing...Julia Child herself. Where were all the yummy details about food shopping, dealing with the quirks of one's stove, acquiring specialized gadgetry and the process of cooking itself? There were precious few. Instead, the book was more about Powell's rather miserable life...and very soon I profoundly did not care.
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