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Julie & Julia (DVD Review)

30 Nov, 2009 By: Casey LoDuca

Street 12/8/09
Sony Pictures
Box Office $93.9 million
$28.96 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for brief strong language and some sensuality.
Stars Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci.

The home video treatment of Julie & Julia is a delicious treat for movie fans and foodies alike. If you happen to be both a fan and a foodie, the Blu-ray Disc is especially decadent.

Julie & Julia tells the parallel stories of Julie Powell (Amy Adams), a young female writer who blogs about her experience cooking her way through Julia Child’s (Meryl Streep) cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and Child’s own experience creating the famous text.

If it were not for Streep and Stanley Tucci (who plays Paul Child), this movie would likely be yet another unremarkable coming-of-age romantic-comedy. While Adams does a perfectly fine job of portraying Julie Powell and her self discovery through cooking, it is Streep’s loving portrayal of Julia Child that makes this film special.

It seems the filmmakers agreed with me, as the special features on the Blu-ray Disc center on the remarkable life and career of Child.

“Julia’s Kitchen” is an interesting featurette chronicling how Child’s kitchen was acquired by the Smithsonian, and “Family & Friends Remember Julia Child” is a heartfelt tribute to the beloved icon.

The cooking lessons with Julia Child and Jacques Pepin are the most amusing, while the others served more as educational trailers for the film.

The DVD includes only the commentary from writer/director Nora Ephron and a behind-the-scenes featurette, “Secret Ingredients: Creating Julie & Julia,” so if you are a fan of Julia Child, a history buff or a self-proclaimed foodie you will get far more enjoyment from the Blu-ray version.

But my favorite among the extras is a retail exclusive: a 90-minute documentary called Julia Child’s Kitchen Wisdom, which weaves remembrances from culinary celebrities, such as Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart, with segments (often humorous) from Child’s televised cooking shows. The deluxe edition with this featurette will be sold exclusively at Target.

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