Flash Movie Review: Julia

IT WAS NOT LIKE I WAS seeking her out; she just appeared, sounding out of breath. I was flipping through the television channels, stopping at anything that would keep my attention. As the television screen went from frame to frame like a slideshow, this large woman appeared on the screen with a modulated voice that spiraled and swooped in tones. She was behind a cooking island that was covered with different kitchen utensils and food items. I was curious because of the food, keeping in mind that my only interest in food was the eating of it. Her theatrics were something I had only seen on a comedy show. Here she was holding up a cooking chicken by its wings as if teaching it to stand for the very first time. Cooking was never part of my thought process, yet I was curious to see what she would do with that chicken after she was done playing with it. I used to watch my relatives cooking in the kitchen, but none of them acted like this woman on television. There was joyfulness, a happiness to her preparations of the food. Some of the kitchen utensils she was using, I had never seen before. I was being drawn into her world.      FROM THAT FIRST VIEWING, I BEGAN watching her on TV consistently. Ironically, I still had no interest in cooking a meal; but I was fascinated with the whole process of it. What looked like these random dissimilar food items, that then got thrown together to be stirred, beaten, folded, whisked, mixed, poured, blended or pureed; that then got dumped into some type of vessel to bake, freeze, grill, boil, chill, fry or cook that turned it into a scrumptious looking plate of delicious food amazed me, each and every time I watched her. It was rare for her to make something that I was familiar with which you would think is odd, but it was not. If anything, it showed me a new world of possibilities. I cannot remember how many of her shows I watched but her flair for presentation has always stewed in the back of my mind. Fast forward a few decades and I am finally delving into the world of cooking. I have been active for years with baking but ventured very little into creating a meal that required more than a microwave oven. There is a new sense of satisfaction I have been experiencing when I see what I was able to do from start to finish with foods. I owe this to the first superstar of cooking I accidently found on television years ago. I had such a sense of joy as I got to visit with her again in this beautiful documentary.      JULIA CHILD DID NOT SET OUT to change the world per se; she just wanted people to enjoy their food as much as she did. Directed by Julie Cohen (RBG, My Name is Pauli Murray) and Betsy West (RBG, My Name is Pauli Murray), what I loved about this movie was the fact that it presented multiple sides of Julia. Using archival footage and pieces of her and her husband’s correspondences, a charming and sweet story was presented to the viewer. When I thought about the variety of cooking shows and celebrity chef run restaurants we have presently, it amazed me how Julia for her times was a trendsetter, if not the very first celebrity chef. The layout of the scenes was done in such an easy thoughtful way that I felt were unbiased and direct, touching on many aspects of Julia’s life. Through the years, I have gleaned a variety of tidbits about Julia’s life to the point I felt I knew her quite well. Gratefully, this documentary provided me new insights and turned into a rich viewing experience without the calories.

3 ½ stars  


About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on December 8, 2021, in Documentary and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Donna Damato Yong

    I first came upon Julia in the 1960’s when my great aunt was always watching her. Then of course through the years I would see a show here and there, and of course Dan Ackroyd’s version of Julia on Saturday Night Live was a classic. In 2009 Nora Ephron’s movie, Julie and Julia came out and I thought it did a really nice job of showing how hard Julia worked on getting her cookbook published and then getting into television. Most of all I loved the great love story between Julia and Paul Child. What an amazing couple. I will definitely be watching this documentary.

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