When Julie & Julia Go to Hollywood

BlogHer Original Post

photo by Alanna KelloggBlog-to-book, we know, but blog-to-movie? Yes! The first movie to be adapted from any blog comes from the food blog The Julie/Julia Project by Julie Powell which did go book and now is going movie, the just-announced Julie & Julia written and directed by Nora Ephron, starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child.

As a food blogger, I'm flipping my fries that it's a food blog in the vanguard. But food bloggers themselves are largely quiet on the subject. The explanation? The bulk of today's active food blogs number in the thousands, nearly all launched long after Julie's blog, The Julie/Julia Project went book and the blog content went blank. Plus, for early-adopters with long memories, Julie publicly knifed her fellow bloggers, making a friendly little kaffe klatch less than likely.

So what do other bloggers think about the idea?

Trashionista ~ "I was already excited about the movie adaptation of Julie Powell's non-fiction book, Julie & Julia, because my hero, Nora Ephron, is writing the screenplay and directing. But now I've heard some casting news, I'm even more excited: Meryl Streep as Julia Child and Amy Adams as Julie Powell. It's going to be so good. (Or, at least, it had better be!)"

The Knife ~ "That means Streep will get to attempt the ultimate accent. ... Nora Ephron is adapting the screenplay and will direct, which I would usually consider bad news ("Bewitched," "Lucky Numbers," "Mixed Nuts" -- "Sleepless in Seattle" was nearly 15 years ago) but Ephron was a foodie before just about everyone except Julia Child."

Feed Me/Drink Me ~ "The book is a hoot -- and movie could be interesting."

Laura's Miscellaneous Musings ~ "I haven't read the book -- I perused it, as the concept intrigued me, but frankly I was turned off by foul language -- so am curious how the film will include Julia Child, as Powell didn't actually know her. Child died in 2004, the year before Powell published her book. According to Amazon, Powell 'imaginatively reconstructs episodes from Child's life in the 1940s,' so that may provide a hint as to how Child's character will be incorporated into the film."

Amuse Bouche ~ "I think the queen of all accents should have a very good time playing the grand doyenne, but I would far rather see a biopic of Julia's life over an adaptation of that book."

The Food Chain, from Chicago Reader ~ "I've avoided it [the book] fairly thoroughly. In this case I think that's because I was getting tired of other people's versions of Julia Child. Especially since her death, the reinterpretation of Child's life is now more or less constant, and I've found myself craving facts rather than ruminations as much as possible. Julie & Julia ... smelled a little like Jeanette Ferrary's M.F.K Fisher & Me, one of those diluted, I'm-borrowing-from-the-urtext-to-write-a-derivative/cozy-book books. ... The wire services describe the planned movie (it could just be bad translation) as "a comedy about a secretary attempting to become a master chef," but in fact it is a book about a secretary who becomes an Internet celebrity and now writes full-time, a sort of modern-day version of . . . well, Ephron. Nobody's trying to be a chef. I wonder how Ephron will skew all that. | ... I can't picture Ephron handling Julia and Paul Child's years in the OSS or France with (I'll say it) much subtlety, for Ephron, while capable of low-key insight when writing about food, is often incapable of the same in the cinematic medium. And how will she handle the foodie stuff? Heartburn (Ephron screenwrote from her own novel there) excised a lot of the food talk, so it's hard to guess from that. Plus, Meryl Streep . . . well, we'll just have to see. It's so hard to picture her inhabiting Child's completely unique 6'2" WASP self with the right authority--and age; she could be either too old or too young to play the versions of Child it sounds like we might get--she was 91 when she died in 2004--but I guess that's why the lady gets the Oscars. They'll have to cast somebody shorter than normal to be Paul, though. No Tom Hanks for Nora this time."

BlogHer food editor Alanna Kellogg hasn't read the Julie/Julia blog or book but does love Julia Child's Cream of Zucchini Soup.


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