Julie & Julia - Fantasy & Reality



It was great to spend time with Meryl Streep (Julia Child): Who else could play a tall, gawky woman who spoke bad French at first - so not Meryl herself. And it was great to spend time with the just as versatile Stanley Tucci (husband Paul Child) and see Amy Adams (Julie Powell) a rising actress of whom I am growing fond.

A couple of editing observations
Central to the movie is the interweaving of two story lines: Julia’s and Julie’s. This is known as parallel action a.k.a. parallel editing. The two women never meet but their stories, when edited together, play off each other to create a singular, single movie. Parallel editing starts many a movie, but usually the two characters (or groups of characters) meet and fight, make love, or interact in some way. In this story the growth and interaction are all on the Julie character.

I also liked the devices for the time transitions – obvious but serviceable and fun.
Kudos to Richard Marks, A.C.E., whose films I’ve enjoyed over the years, and the rest of the crew.

Movie’s morals
The movie’s two morals are great ones:
1) Do your best and don’t apologize!

2) People in your fantasies are not the same as in reality. Julie revered Julia for a long time and from a distance. Julia (according to the movie) wasted no time making up her mind that she hated Julie and dismissed.
Moral: You’ve got to have both fantasy and reality and emerge with your own truth, especially when they clash.

Many have criticized the movie saying the Julia/accomplished actress Streep/Master chef parts zoomed along and they wanted more of them and conversely that the Julie/budding actress Adams/neophyte cook parts dragged and they wanted to see less of the. Streep insisted that she was not impersonating the chef. “I’m playing Julia as Julie’s idea of what she was like.”* The movie needed both Julie’s reality and her fantasy in order to succeed.

We all go to the movies for both reality and fantasy (escape). I love movies that comment on this, blatantly like Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo or Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. and more subtly like Nora Ephron’s Julie and Julia.

Reality and fantasy feed each other and bon appétit to both I say!

* http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/...ryl-Streep-interview-for-Julie-and-Julia.html


Hi Mr. Taylor,
The transitions back and forth between past and present/Julia and Julie were planned in the shooting and perfected in the editing. I can't recall any specific transition - would have to see it again. It's always a joy to see good, well thought-out transitions .

Cinema Paradiso - a wonderful film with a great love for life and cinema - also used time transitions to move the story from the main character - a young boy - to his adult self and back. One great transition can be seen when his projectionist friend/father figure holds the young boy's face in his hands and the movie cuts to his face grown up.

Mr Taylor

New member
There was also a really good one in The Mummy.
A statue of Anubis(?) was new (at night) 3000 bc and as the camera circled it , night became day and the statue started to crumble and fade. Wide shot to reveal that we are now in the 1920"s.