Sunday, March 11, 2012

Not Quite Ready For Prime Time Class Struggle- The Art Of Fine Cooking For The Servantless- “Julie and Julia”- A Film Review

Markin comment:

Every once in a while there is something to review that just does not fit the high standards necessary to be worthy of comment in the way of lessons to be drawn for the class struggle. Or, put another way, this writer, on occasion has the need to stretch out and write something whimsical. Today commentary is one such example. So be it.

Julie and Julia, starring Meryl Streep, directed by Nora Ephron, 2009

I can boil water. My “soul mate” can boil water and, in addition, throw something in the pot. That, sadly, is the extent of our culinary acumen. That condition, nevertheless, does not preclude said “soul mate” from enthusiastically partaking in the recent mania for all things cookery. This last sentence is a round about way of getting to the why of reviewing this recent film centered on a parallel presentation of the lives of a modern (maybe, post-modern, blog and all) alienated middle-class woman who gets caught up in a French cooking frenzy and the American post-World War II “queen” of that domain, the alienated upper middle-class woman, Julia Child.

Now it would be quite easy to sneer at the original premise of the plot- connecting the high-pitched old PBS icon Child with a thoroughly modern Millie in a fluffy, feel good piece of film about the travails of finding meaning in modern day life. Or to look askance at those old OSS (predecessor of the CIA) connections of Julia and her husband, Paul. Or, more interesting, the noblesse oblige premise of an intelligent woman with time on her hands behind the struggle to publish a book on fine French cooking for the average servantless American housewife.

On most days I would be more than happy to throw some barbs that way. But here is the “skinny”. This is just , in its own way, a funny look at a couple of slices of Americana. Beside that, who has time to be critical in the above-mentioned ways when you have to concentrate on watching Meryl Streep BE Julia Childs. (Nora Ephron, apparently, just let Streep goes through her paces, thankfully). As always that actress turns in a sterling performance, no matter what the part. Moreover, if those are not good and sufficient reasons, please remember that “soul mate”, who loved this film. I do not want to have to revive in our household the old tradition of having someone else taste my food before I eat it.

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