Julie & Julia

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Julie & Julia
A woman laughing. Below a woman with a finger in her mouth. The middle horizontal section contains the film title.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNora Ephron
Screenplay byNora Ephron
Based on
Produced by
CinematographyStephen Goldblatt
Edited byRichard Marks
Music byAlexandre Desplat
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • August 7, 2009 (2009-08-07)
Running time
123 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$40 million
Box office$129.5 million[1]

Julie & Julia is a 2009 American biographical comedy-drama film written and directed by Nora Ephron starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams in the title roles with Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, and Linda Emond in supporting roles. The film contrasts the life of chef Julia Child in the early years of her culinary career with the life of young New Yorker Julie Powell, who aspires to cook all 524 recipes in Child's cookbook in 365 days, a challenge she described on her popular blog, which made her a published author.[2]

Ephron's screenplay is based on two books: My Life in France, Child's autobiography written with Alex Prud'homme, and a memoir by Powell, Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen (later retitled Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously). Both of these books were written and published between 2004 and 2006. Powell's book was based on her blog The Julie/Julia Project,[3] where she documented online her daily experiences cooking each of the 524 recipes in Child's 1961 cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The film is the first major motion picture based on a blog.[4]

In March 2008, Ephron began filming with Streep as Child and Adams as Powell. On July 30, 2009, the film officially premiered at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York;[5] and, on August 7, 2009, it opened throughout North America.[1] It received positive reviews from critics, who praised Streep's performance.

Julie & Julia was Ephron's last film before her death in 2012.[6]


The film is presented in a series of flashbacks between present-day and past, jumping between various moments in both Julie and Julia's lives. The following plot summary separates the plot based on character.

Julia Child – 1950s[edit]

In the 1950s, Julia Child, an enthusiastic and unabashed woman, moves to Paris with her diplomat husband, Paul Child. She attends Le Cordon Bleu to learn French cooking and is initially met with skepticism as she is the only woman in the class. Madame Elizabeth Brassart, the proprietress of the school, clashes with Julia. However, Julia is undaunted and begins collaborating on a book about French cooking for American housewives with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle.

Julia continues to work diligently on the book, despite such obstacles as Paul being repeatedly reassigned, Louisette's less-than-diligent efforts on the project (she's eventually told she will get a smaller share of the royalties than Julia and Simone), and Paul's being investigated for allegedly "un-American activities."

Although Julia's book is rejected by Houghton Mifflin as too long and complicated, it is ultimately accepted and published by Alfred A. Knopf.

Julie Powell – 2002[edit]

In 2002, Julie Powell has an unpleasant job at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's call center, where she answers telephone calls from victims & families of the September 11 attacks and members of the general public complaining about the LMDC's controversial plans for rebuilding the World Trade Center.

To do something she enjoys, she decides to cook every recipe in Julia Child's 1961 book Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year while blogging about it. Her husband Eric initially supports her in this and she gains a following, but tension develops when Julie starts to get conceited and prioritize her blog and readers over their marriage. He temporarily leaves after an argument, after which Julie expresses remorse in her blog. Finally, Julie is visited by a food writer from The New York Times, who features her blog in a story, after which her project begins to receive the attention of journalists, literary agents, and publishers.

Julie is hurt when a journalist tells her that Child was critical of Julie's blog project, but she retains her love and gratitude for Child and the inspiration she provided. The last scenes show Powell and her husband visiting a reconstruction of Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian Institution, and Child in the same kitchen at her home receiving a first print edition of her cookbook and celebrating the event with her husband.



On its opening weekend, the film opened #2 behind G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra with $20.1 million.[10] Julie & Julia ended up grossing $94.1 million in the United States and Canada, and earned a worldwide total of $129.5 million.[1]


The film received positive reviews, especially for Streep's performance.[11] Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 78% based on 227 reviews, with an average score of 6.7/10; the site's critical consensus states: "Boosted by Meryl Streep's charismatic performance as Julia Child, Julie & Julia is a light, but fairly entertaining culinary comedy."[12] Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, gave it an average score of 66% based on 34 reviews.[11]

Los Angeles Times critic Kenneth Turan commented: "[Julie & Julia do] it right. A consummate entertainment that echoes the rhythms and attitudes of classic Hollywood, it's a satisfying throwback to those old-fashioned movie fantasies where impossible dreams do come true. And, in this case, it really happened. Twice."[13]The A.V. Club gave the film a C, explaining, "Julie & Julia is two movies in one. That's one more movie than it needs to be."[14] Entertainment Weekly gave it a B+.[15] The review by Slate was also positive.[16]

Streep has been widely praised for her performance as Child. Movie critic A. O. Scott of The New York Times affirmed: "By now [Streep] has exhausted every superlative that exists and to suggest that she has outdone herself is only to say that she's done it again. Her performance goes beyond physical imitation, though she has the rounded shoulders and the fluting voice down perfectly."[17] Reviewer Peter Travers wrote in Rolling Stone that "Streep—at her brilliant, beguiling best—is the spice that does the trick for the yummy Julie & Julia."[18] Similarly, Stephanie Zacharek of Salon concluded that "Streep isn't playing Julia Child here, but something both more elusive and more truthful—she's playing our idea of Julia Child."[19]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and Nominations
Award Category Nominee Result
Academy Awards[20] Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
BAFTA Awards[21] Best Actress Nominated
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards[22] Best Actress Won
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards[23] Best Actress Won
(tied with Sandra Bullock)
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards[24] Best Actress Nominated
Detroit Film Critics Society Awards[25] Best Actress Nominated
EDA Awards[26] Best Actress Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[27] Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Houston Film Critics Society Awards Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards[28] Best Actress Won
London Film Critics' Circle Awards[29] Actress of the Year Nominated
New York Film Critics Circle Awards[30] Best Actress Won
New York Film Critics Online Awards[31] Best Actress Won
North Texas Film Critics Association Awards[32] Best Actress Won
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Awards[33] Best Actress Won
Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards[34] Best Actress Won
San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Best Actress Nominated
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards[35] Best Actress Won
Satellite Awards[36] Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won
Best Film – Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Nora Ephron Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards[37] Best Actress Meryl Streep Nominated
Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards[38] Best Actress Won
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards Best Actress Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards[39] Best Actress Nominated
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards[40] Best Actress Nominated
Writers Guild of America Award[41] Best Adapted Screenplay Nora Ephron Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Julie & Julia (2009)". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ Maçek III, J.C. (September 4, 2021). "Bless This Mess: Sweeping the Kitchen with Julia Child". PopMatters.
  3. ^ "The Julie/Julia Project". Salon.com. August 25, 2002. Archived from the original on August 19, 2011.
  4. ^ Prigge, Matt (August 4, 2009). "Six Films Inspired By Items on the Internets". Philadelphia Weekly. Archived from the original on May 29, 2012.
  5. ^ ""Julie & Julia"". CBS News. July 31, 2009. Retrieved November 7, 2023.
  6. ^ McGrath, Charles (June 26, 2012). "Nora Ephron Dies at 71; Writer and Filmmaker With a Genius for Humor". The New York Times. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  7. ^ "Chris Messina Joins Julie & Julia". ComingSoon.net. December 13, 2007. Archived from the original on February 12, 2008. Retrieved June 18, 2008.
  8. ^ Perry, Bryon (March 5, 2008). "Jane Lynch". Variety. Archived from the original on March 25, 2008. Retrieved June 18, 2008.
  9. ^ "24's Rajskub Cooks Up Role in Julie and Julia". Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved June 19, 2008.
  10. ^ "BOX OFFICE BEAT DOWN: G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra Storms Theaters with $56.2 Million". MovieWeb. August 10, 2009.
  11. ^ a b "Julie & Julia (2009)". Metacritic. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  12. ^ "Julie & Julia". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  13. ^ Turan, Kenneth (August 7, 2009). "Culinary sisterhood". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  14. ^ Phipps, Keith (August 6, 2009). "Julie & Julia". The A.V. Club. Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  15. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (August 7, 2009). "Julie & Julia". EW.com. Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  16. ^ Stevens, Dana (August 6, 2009). "Julie & Julia". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  17. ^ Scott, A. O. (August 6, 2009). "Two for the Stove". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 16, 2022.
  18. ^ Travers, Peter (August 6, 2009). "Julie & Julia". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 8, 2009.
  19. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (August 7, 2009). ""Julie & Julia"". Salon.com. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012.
  20. ^ Gans, Andrew (February 2, 2010). "Academy Award Nominations Announced Feb. 2; "Nine" Receives Four Noms". Playbill.com. Archived from the original on February 5, 2010. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  21. ^ Karger, Dave (January 21, 2010). "'Avatar,' 'An Education,' 'Hurt Locker' dominate BAFTA nominations". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 24, 2010. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
  22. ^ Verniere, James (December 14, 2009). "Meryl Streep, Mo'nique pick up Boston Film Critics' nods". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on September 30, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  23. ^ "The 15th Critics' Choice Awards Nominees". BFCA. Archived from the original on October 14, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  24. ^ ""Hurt Locker" sweeps the field in Chicago Film Critics' Awards". RogerEbert.com. December 21, 2009. Retrieved November 7, 2023.
  25. ^ Tabouring, Frank. "The 2009 Detroit Film Critics Society Awards". Detroit Film Critics Society. Archived from the original on December 21, 2012. Retrieved November 7, 2023.
  26. ^ "The 2009 EDA Awards Nominees". Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  27. ^ "2010 Nominations & Winners". Golden Globe Awards. HFPA. Archived from the original on January 8, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  28. ^ "KCFCC Award Winners – 2000-09". Kansas City Film Critics Circle. Retrieved November 7, 2023.
  29. ^ "An Education leads London Film Critics' nominees". Screen Daily. December 21, 2009. Retrieved November 7, 2023.
  30. ^ "Best Actress Awards". New York Film Critics. Archived from the original on March 26, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  31. ^ "New York Film Critics Online Awards for 2009". Arizona Reporter. Archived from the original on June 2, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  32. ^ "North Texas Film Critics Association announces results of member voting for best of 2009". Pegasus News. Archived from the original on April 9, 2010. Retrieved January 12, 2010.
  33. ^ "Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Names "The Hurt Locker" Best Movie of 2009". OFCC. Archived from the original on January 1, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  34. ^ "DLocal Film Society Announces Awards". KPHO Entertainment News. December 22, 2009. Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  35. ^ "2009 San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards". SFFCC. December 14, 2009. Archived from the original on March 6, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  36. ^ "2009 14th Annual SATELLITE AWARDS". International Press Academy. 2009. Archived from the original on October 8, 2011. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  37. ^ "The 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". SAG.org. Retrieved November 7, 2023.
  38. ^ "SEFCA Awards". SEFCA. 2009. Archived from the original on December 17, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  39. ^ "Toronto Film Critics Association Awards 2009". Toronto Film Critics. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  40. ^ "2009 WAFCA Awards". WAFCA. December 7, 2009. Retrieved November 7, 2023.
  41. ^ "2010 Writers Guild Awards Screen Nominees Announced". WGA.org. 2010. Archived from the original on March 11, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.

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