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A Black Iron Haven

Julie & Julia: A Cooking Movie Review

Posted by Kathy Mansfield

Nora Ephron’s Julie and Julia is a delicious culinary movie treat. Rick and I recently viewed the flick at nearby Tinseltown. Although the movie had been out for several weeks and we went to a Saturday afternoon matinee, the theater was nearly filled to capacity. The large crowd surprised us. Most of the movie goers appeared to be close to us in age (early 40’s) or older. I suppose that’s the age group that would remember Julia Child from her television shows.

The screenplay, penned by director Nora Ephron, is not just the biography of Julia Child--it is mingled with a year long cooking/blogging adventure undertaken by Julie Powell in 2002. Powell challenged herself to spend a year cooking all the recipes from Julia Child’s first cookbook, Mastering The Art of French Cooking. Not only did Powell succeed in the cooking challenge, she also garnered a strong readership to her blog that led to the screenplay that resulted in Julie and Julia.

I knew going in to the theater that I would see some semblance of a biographical tale, but I was surprised to walk out having enjoyed a romantic comedy. Meryl Streep’s Julia Child and Stanley Tucci’s Paul Child were depicted as very much in love with each other and with life. Their ability to laugh at life’s twists and turns and at Julia’s culinary mistakes made for an inspirational piece.

The dishes depicted in the movie were all real recipes from Julia Child’s cookbook, and I mentioned to Rick several times in the movie that I wanted to try particular recipes, especially the beef bourguignon. I wonder how it would taste in cast iron?

If you enjoy cooking, whether in cast iron or not, I think you’ll enjoy the delightfully charming Julie and Julia.

Rick's note: If you look closely at the pans Julia Child's character is using in the movie, in addition to her trademark copper pots, she also uses quite a few Le Creuset enameled cast iron dutch ovens.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, or you can contact Kathy directly at

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