Summer is nearly over and I finally got around to taking Tenured Radical’s advice and seeing the her pick for best grown-up summer movie, Julie and Julia, even though I’m rather meh about Nora Ephron’s work. Like TR, I found the Julia portions of the film more entertaining and compelling — largely because of my fond memories of watching “The French Chef” on WGBH in the early 1970s. I enjoyed Julie’s story too — the depiction of blogging as a form of self-discipline especially intriguing. In some ways, both characters embark on their endeavors as a means of self-improvement — Julia because she needs “something to do” besides serve as a diplomat’s wife, Julie because she needs an escape from cubicle life (not to mention the stress that must have accompanied dealing with 9/11 claims and complaints). In the end, both find what they first did for themselves can serve a wider audience. I thought the two stories complemented each other nicely, but must admit there was more about Julia. I hope someday someone will make a full-length feature about Child’s extraordinary life. Meanwhile, I’ll have to make do with My Life in France.
I tagged this entry as women’s history because Julia Child’s place in twentieth-century women’s history is significant. Heck, the Schlesinger Library, which specializes in history of women in the United States, has Child’s papers (along with those of her collaboration Simone Beck) as part of their reknowned culinary history collection.