Julie & Julia

Not to be confused with Julia and Julia, a 1987 Italian film about a woman who flips between realities where her family is and isn't dead.
Julie & Julia

A woman laughing. Below a woman with a finger in her mouth. The middle horizontal section contains the film title.

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Nora Ephron
Produced by
Written by Nora Ephron
Based on
Music by Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography Stephen Goldblatt
Edited by Richard Marks
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • August 7, 2009 (2009-08-07)
Running time
123 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million
Box office $129.5 million[1]

Julie & Julia is a 2009 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Nora Ephron starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, and Chris Messina. The film contrasts the life of chef Julia Child in the early years of her culinary career with the life of young New Yorker Julie Powell, who aspires to cook all 524 recipes in Child's cookbook in 365 days, a challenge she described on her popular blog that made her a published author.[2]

Ephron's screenplay is adapted from two books: My Life in France, Child's autobiography written with Alex Prud'homme, and a memoir by Powell, Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen (later retitled Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously). Both of these books were written and published in the same time frame (2004–06). Powell's book was based on her blog The Julie/Julia Project,[3] where she had started documenting online her daily experiences cooking each of the 524 recipes in Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The film is the first major motion picture based on a blog.[4]

In March 2008, Ephron began filming with Streep as Child and Adams as Powell. On July 30, 2009, the film officially premiered at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York; and, on August 7, 2009, it opened throughout North America.[5] Streep and Adams previously starred together in Doubt (2008). Streep and Tucci previously starred together in The Devil Wears Prada (2006).

Julie & Julia was Ephron's last film before her death in 2012.


In 2002, Julie Powell (Adams) is a young writer with an unpleasant job at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's call center, where she answers telephone calls from victims of the September 11 attacks and members of the general public complaining about the LMDC's controversial plans for rebuilding the World Trade Center. To do something she enjoys, she decides to cook every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961) by Julia Child (Streep) in one year; Powell decides to write a blog to motivate herself and document her progress.

Woven into the story of Powell's time in Queens in the early 2000s is the story of Child's time in Paris throughout the 1950s, where she attends Le Cordon Bleu to learn French cooking and begins collaborating on a book about French cooking for American housewives. The plot highlights similarities in the women's challenges. Both women receive much support from their husbands, except when Powell's husband becomes fed up with her excessive devotion to her hobby and leaves her for a short time.

Eventually, Powell's blog is featured in a story published in The New York Times, after which her project begins to receive the attention of journalists, literary agents, publishers, and a dismissive response from Child herself. Although Child's book is rejected by Houghton Mifflin, it is accepted and published by Alfred A. Knopf. The last scene shows Powell and her husband visiting Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian Institution and Child in the same kitchen receiving a first print of her cookbook and celebrating the event with her husband.



Critical response

The film received positive reviews from critics.[9] Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 75% based on 212 reviews, with an average score of 6.7/10 with a "Certified Fresh" rating, and the site's critical consensus states: "Boosted by Meryl Streep's charismatic performance as Julia Child, Julie & Julia is a light, but fairly entertaining culinary comedy."[10] Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, gave it an average score of 66% based on 34 reviews.[9]

Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan commented, "[Julie & Julia] does it right. A consummate entertainment that echoes the rhythms and attitudes of classic Hollywood, it's a satisfying throwback to those old-fashioned movie fantasies where impossible dreams do come true. And, in this case, it really happened. Twice."[11] The A. V. Club gave the film a C, explaining, "Julie & Julia is two movies in one. That’s one more movie than it needs to be."[12] Entertainment Weekly gave it a B+.[13] The review by Slate was also positive.[14]

Streep has been widely praised for her performance as Child. Movie critic A. O. Scott of The New York Times affirmed that "By now [Streep] has exhausted every superlative that exists and to suggest that she has outdone herself is only to say that she’s done it again. Her performance goes beyond physical imitation, though she has the rounded shoulders and the fluting voice down perfectly."[15] Reviewer Peter Travers wrote in Rolling Stone that "Streep at her brilliant, beguiling best is the spice that does the trick for the yummy Julie & Julia."[16] Similarly, Stephanie Zacharek of Salon concluded that "Streep isn't playing Julia Child here, but something both more elusive and more truthful she's playing our idea of Julia Child."[17]

Box office

On its opening weekend, the film opened #2 behind G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra with $20.1 million.[18]

Awards and nominations

Awards and Nominations
Award Category Nominee Result
Academy Awards[19] Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
BAFTA Awards[20] Best Actress Nominated
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards[21] Best Actress Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards[22] Best Actress Won
(tied with Sandra Bullock)
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards[23] Best Actress Nominated
Detroit Film Critics Society Awards[24] Best Actress Nominated
EDA Awards[25] Best Actress Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[26] Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Houston Film Critics Society Awards Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards[27] Best Actress Won
London Film Critics' Circle Awards[28] Actress of the Year Nominated
New York Film Critics Circle Awards[29] Best Actress Won
New York Film Critics Online Awards[30] Best Actress Won
North Texas Film Critics Association Awards[31] Best Actress Won
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards[32] Best Actress Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards[33] Best Actress Won
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Actress Nominated
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards[34] Best Actress Won
Satellite Awards[35] Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won
Best Film – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Nora Ephron Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards[36] Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards[37] Best Actress Won
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards Best Actress Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards[38] Best Actress Nominated
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards[39] Best Actress Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award[40] Best Adapted Screenplay Nora Ephron Nominated

Home release

Julie & Julia was released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 8, 2009.

See also


  1. "Julie & Julia (2009)". Box Office Mojo.
  2. J.C. Maçek III (2012-08-13). "Bless This Mess: Sweeping the Kitchen with Julia Child". PopMatters.
  3. The Julie/Julia Project
  4. Philadelphia Weekly
  5. "Tweetin' Streep". Zagat.com. July 30, 2009.
  6. "Chris Messina Joins Julie & Julia". 2007-12-13. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  7. Bryon Perry (2008-03-05). "Jane Lynch". Variety. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  8. "24's Rajskub Cooks Up Role in Julie and Julia". Retrieved 2008-06-19.
  9. 1 2 "Julie & Julia (2009)". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  10. "Julie & Julia". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  11. LA Times review, August 12, 2009
  12. A.V. Club review, August 12, 2009
  13. EW review, August 12, 2004
  14. Slate review, August 12, 2009
  15. A.O. Scott, The New York Times: Two for the Stove, movie review of Julie & Julia. Aug 7, 2009.
  16. Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Movie Review of Julie & Julia. Aug 6, 2009.
  17. Stephanie Zacharek, Salon: Movie review of Julie & Julia. Aug 7, 2009.
  18. "BOX OFFICE BEAT DOWN" 10 August 2009
  19. Gans, Andrew (2010-02-02). "Academy Award Nominations Announced Feb. 2; "Nine" Receives Four Noms". Playbill.com. Retrieved 2010-02-21.
  20. Karger, Dave (2010-01-21). "'Avatar,' 'An Education,' 'Hurt Locker' dominate BAFTA nominations". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  21. Verniere, James (2009-12-14). "Meryl Streep, Mo'nique pick up Boston Film Critics' nods". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  22. "THE 15th CRITICS' CHOICE AWARDS NOMINEES". BFCA. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  23. ""The Hurt Locker" Takes Top Honours". Chicago Film Critics Association. 2009-12-21. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  24. Tabouring, Frank (2009-12-18). "Detroit Film Critics Society Awards 2009". IMDb. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  25. "T2009 EDA Awards Nominees". [Alliance of Women Film Journalists]. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  26. "Nominations & Winners". HFPA. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  27. "Kansas City Film Critics Circle Homepage". Kansas City Film Critics Circle. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  28. "Film". LFCC. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
  29. "Best Actress Awards". New York Film Critics. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  30. "NEW YORK FILM CRITICS ONLINE AWARDS FOR 2009". Arizona Reporter. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  31. "North Texas Film Critics Association announces results of member voting for best of 2009". Pegasus News. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
  32. "Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Names "The Hurt Locker" Best Movie of 2009". OFCC. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  33. "DLocal Film Society Announces Awards". KPHO Entertainment News. 2009-12-22. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  34. "2009 SAN FRANCISCO FILM CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS". SFFCC. 2009-12-14. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  35. "2009 14th Annual SATELLITE AWARDS". International Press Academy. 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  36. Nominations Announced for the 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
  37. "Awards". SFFCC. 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  38. "Toronto Film Critics Association Awards 2009". Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  39. "Our Awards: 2009". WAFCA. 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2010-01-03.
  40. "2010 Writers Guild Awards Screen Nominees Announced". 2010. Retrieved 2016-04-25.

External links

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