Tag Archives: Julie & Julia

Top Ten Movies for 2009

Here they are!

My favorite movies of the past year. I still have a few I want to watch, so (thorughout January) I reserve the right to juggle.

  1. Star TrekWonderful adaption. The best adaptatiotns remain just faithful enough to the source material, but still manage to offer up a few surprises. By far the best Star Trek movie of the bunch, but a potent adaptation in its own right.
  2. Inglorious BasterdsFun to watch, fun to mull over. Once you see it, it’s hard to understand why all WW2 pictures don’t end this way. Now one of my favorite Tarantino pictures.
  3. District 9 – I loved the inventive transformation of the main character. An ugly little man becomes a humane alien.
  4. Sherlock Holmes – Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law have a lot of chemistry as Holmes and Watson.
  5. Fantastic Mr. Fox – Subversive little movie with a lot of heart. I liked the father son relationship. I liked how the boy struggled to be seen by his Dad. I liked how Dad was blinded by his own needs. But most of all I liked watching these characters make the best of their own limitations. “Cluster-cuss!”
  6. Hurt Locker - The most powerful scene shows Sgt James (Jeremy Renner), who has just returned from a horrifying tour in Iraq, wandering through the supermarket with his wife, staring at a wall of cereal, just before he reenlists. Fascinating portrayal of a smart guy who really has no clue what’s motivating him.
  7. AvatarBeautiful movie, engaging if familiar story.
  8. WatchmanBold and original.
  9. Julie & Julia – Meryl Streep is so much fun to watch. Stanley Tucci is a joy.
  10. Taken - An episode of 24 but with Liam Neeson.

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Julie & Julia

streep&tucci

What a great job Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep did in this.

I knew of Julia Child, but wasn’t a big fan, or even very knowledgeable about her cook book or television show. Nevertheless, her story really grabbed me, I think because of the chemistry between Tucci and Streep, and Streep’s spooky ability to portray Child, a huge stork of a woman, who doesn’t fit in, but always carries herself with purpose and poise.

The story is a contrast between the lives of an unknown blogger (Amy Adams as the titular Julie) and Child, as each tries to find her niche in life. The Child parts of the story are much more powerful than the anonymous blogger parts, but as my wife pointed out: the movie might not have worked with just Child’s story. It needed some sort of counterpoint and the social and economic contrast between Child (upper middle class, 50s era) and Julie (struggling middle class, 21st century) was understated but clearly important. I am undecided whether to lay blame at Adams feet or lazy screen writing, but Julie’s life just didn’t resonate with me. When Child finally gets her book deal, I want to cheer, weep, or a little of both. When Julie gets hers, I think: shit, I could have done that.

Still, really worth a look.

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