Julie Powell’s ‘Julie and Julia’ transformed food writing. How to watch the movie version.
Julie Powell’s ‘Julie and Julia’ shaped food writing.
Julie Powell’s “Julie and Julia: Cooking in Miniaturist Pain” is a book that has profoundly influenced generations of cooks. Powell writes the story of her life, about growing up in the Bronx during the Great Depression and her eventual culinary aspirations.
For the first time, Powell shares the story, and recipes from her kitchen, through her own personal lens. “I’ve heard that the best stories are the ones you can hold in your hand,” Powell told the audience during the first public Q&A of the book on a recent afternoon in Boston. “So in this book, I wanted to share something that I could hold in my hand, something that has stuck with me through all these years.”
I sat in front of a computer screen, watching as Powell recounted how she went from a child with “a dream in her heart” to a career as a cook. A few days later, I sat in front of a different screen — the movie version of her memoir.
What follows is a brief summary of a film that, if it had been as good as the book, would feel like a perfect fit: “Julie and Julia,” based on Powell’s second book, “Julie and Julia at Home,” which was released in 1999. For more, visit the Internet Archive’s streaming catalogue.
The movie is a work of art, but it’s not one of those filmic masterpieces that have a tendency to stay with you long after the credits have rolled. The story follows the narrative arc of a young girl named Julia and a teenage boy named Julia, in the years between their high school graduation and young adulthood.
Julia loves Julia
The movie begins with an introduction and prologue — not the least