Movie Comment: Julie and Julia (2009)  

Posted by Denis Haack in , , ,

I watched this film with my best friend and wife, Margie, and felt we were celebrating good things the entire time. Celebrating what Christians call God’s "common grace," the amazing goodness he richly spreads throughout creation for our enjoyment. Goodness experienced in relationships, sex, food and wine, and finding a sense of calling in the myriad diversions and distractions of life.

Directed by Nora Ephron from her own screenplay, Julie and Julia is an honest look at joy and disappointment in the ordinary ups and downs of life. Meryl Street plays Julia Child, the larger than life brashly endearing woman who single-handedly transformed how America cooked when she published Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1961. Her love of food and love for her husband, Paul Child, played wonderfully by Stanley Tucci is simply infectious. In 2002 a young woman, bored with her corporate cubicle, decided to cook through Child’s cookbook in a year (524 recipes in 365 days) and blog the experience. Julie Powell’s (played by Amy Adams) blog later was published as Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously (2007).

I’ve always loved the opening to the Christian Story, where God not only calls the universe into existence in a riot of beauty, but then creates beings in his likeness to share his appreciation of all that is good. “The Lord God,” the Scriptures record, placed his newly formed creatures “in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Keeping it involved tenderly caring for it as the Lord’s, and therefore precious. Working it can be translated “cultivating it,” a term that is related to human culture. And so, as sons of Adam and daughters of Eve, to this day we find fulfillment in cultivating the whole continuum of life and culture, whether land, relationships, or meals, finding in our obedience a whisper of the shalom God intended for us.

Julie and Julia is a celebration of this reality. Of the graciousness of grace, of how loving marriages (not perfect ones), a love of good food shared in meaningful community, and finding a sense of significance and calling all lead to glimpses of delight too good to be missed.

This entry was posted at Thursday, October 08, 2009 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


A good word, my friend, pointing to the one good God and Creator. I also watched with my best friend and wife, Karen and daughter Rachel. The film evoked in us some of the same sense of simple, joy in living in the deep places of the heart, gratitude for God's good gifts and the wonder of participating in them at least three times a day as we prepare and eat a meal! All this echoes for us the way we are made for eternity.

My only criticism of the film is that we did not feel Amy Adams was as believable in her character Julie's dawning passion for food as was Meryl Streep. Streep, however was a tour de force as usual.

Thanks for reminding us of Who made us as we are...

October 14, 2009 at 8:14 AM

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