The documentary Julia begins with a funny sequence of the Chicken Sisters; Julia describing the different chickens you can buy — stewing hens, roasters, capons — definitions you likely won’t see in a modern grocery store these days.
Julia is the new documentary on Julia Child; chef, author, TV star. The charming statuesque, 6’3” lady from a conservative family was born in Pasadena. After attending Smith College, she wanted more excitement out of life and joined the war effort, dreaming of becoming a spy, only to be relegated to clerk typist role. But she met the man who would become her life partner, and together they traveled the world. When they landed in France, she found a cuisine and a country where she felt she was finally home.
Cooking became her calling, and she joined the Cordon Bleu cooking academy, a hotbed of sexist male chef instructors, then collaborated on the now famous Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Best known for her entertaining cooking show that followed, and her guest appearances on talk shows, I first saw the show on PBS, reruns that were decades old. Julia’s boundless enthusiasm guided the viewer through French recipes and if there was ever a failure, she would advise you to just continue and serve it as something else. Everything had garlic, and you could never add enough wine to a dish. I don’t think I ever tried one of her recipes, but I loved the show — it was fun and massively entertaining.
Julia broke through the glass ceiling; her own show as a chef in a world that’s still dominated by men and fame when she was over 50.
Everyone will enjoy Julia. It’s a heartwarming story of finding your passion and the courage to go for it. Foodies, anyone who watches cooking shows, and anyone who likes to cook will especially love this. The movie has cameos from many current TV chefs.
Julia releases in theaters with limited engagements beginning Nov. 26. ~Sandra Campbell
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