On Julie and Julia,, The Movie, II

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hello again, everyone.

I am back, with the second installment of my call to you all:

Go to see the movie, Julie and Julia !

Two days ago, I posted a Summary of Talking Points,
because just my initial writing out of the Talking Points
spanned several pages.

Now here is only a part of the full outline of the Talking Points.

I simply do not want to swamp you with the full outpouring of words that this outline has turned into :-)

TALKING POINTS (Partial Outline)

*The movie is a Hoot – it got me to belly laugh, loudly!
Not once, but a number of times
(probably every ten minutes).
Which is great achievements!
Normally, you can barely get me
to smile at a very funny moment or line in a movie.

*The movie is about JOY -
no , no,
the movie is the Experience Of Joy.

Many kinds of joy, too.
The joy of cooking, most specifically.

But also the joy of eating.
The joy of hosting eating parties.

The joy of triumphing over nasty,
competitive fellow cooking
school students.
The joy of facing hurdles of all kinds,
and coming up roses –
no matter how long it takes to do it.

Let me stop now...

*The movie celebrates The importance of
Perseverance and Patience
in the struggle for success.

Many people see success as resulting from talent.

Or from Luck.
Or from Selling Oneself/Marketing Oneself

Few people appreciate – as this movie does –
the Pivotal Power of Patience +
Perseverence in overcoming
obstacles, large as they may be,
and winning the final prize: success.

Julia Child, an
Unknown Expat in Europe, spent eight(8)
long years trying to write AND get published a book –
of French Cooking recipes aimed at Americans readers.

She did so at a time when this was a novelty,
with no perceptible readership or market for it.

Julia persisted, and persevered patiently.
Julia also kept her joy + her funny responses alive
through it all.

Julie Powell,
seemingly very different kettle of fish - but not really.

An unknown with an unpublished novel,
working as a lowly secretary,
who decided to spend a year writing a blog –

A blog whose secondary title reveals her own comic gift :
“Nobody here but us servantless American cooks...”
[See http://blogs.salon.com/0001399/]

Julie Powell, a 'nobody' according to the movie
reviewers, who started a blog about spending
365 days
learning to cook - from scratch -
all of 524 French Cooking recipes
in Julia Child’s book.

Julie, accused by one reviewer of finding 'a Gimmick.'

Who in fact took on a huge challenge: to cook her
way through Julia Child’s book,
learning to cook along the way.

Julie who wrote daily about all of it –
the trials and errors,
the failures and the glitches,
and the successes, too..
Julie, who like Julia did it –
risked investing time and effort
and money and heart -
when there was no visible market or prospect
for an audience at the time.

Both of them DID IT – they got to the finish line.

They managed to do it with patience
and perseverance –
and a large dollop of humor,

AND the whole-hearted support of
their loving husbands -
they made it to the end goal.

As Faulkner my GREAT teacher would say, sonorously:
they Prevailed.

With an Exclamation Mark:
They Prevailed!

Not a small feat, in either case.

So, my readers, for those of you who have come to
this second installment,
and its Partial Talking Points outline:

RUN to see the movie.

And then see where the inspiration(s) take you.

If you need to see how they may show up,
read or reread the first installment, below this one.

Have a great belly laugh, everyone!


Copyright C 2009 Dinnah G. Pladott, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

On Julie and Julia - The Movie,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Alert: This is the First of several posts on this topic.

I have not blogged for a long time - almost exactly two years - due to health challenges (not terminal, thank God).

But the Movie Julie and Julia has sent my juices flowing, and here I am with a little message for you all out there:

Go to see the movie JULIE AND JULIA. As soon as you can.

You will laugh. You may cry. You will be entertained.

You will have fun. You could be provoked.

And you may possibly be inspired. To something unexpected.

And/Or :

You may be energized enough to look up Julia Child’s 1967-edition classic book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

And/Or you may alternatively pick up Julie Powell’s book, My Year of Cooking.

Hopefully, you will find some time to peek at Julie’s original blog:

The Julie/Julia Project (http://blogs.salon.com/0001399/)

Or you may do all of the above.

Which of course is Not what the mass of movie reviewers have been saying, in their many condescending, dismissing, patronizing and fault-finding summations.

I read many of these before I saw the movie. I checked some of them afterwards.

In my view, they are blind and deaf here.

Possibly with a big BLIND spot when it comes to the matters the movie deals with.

So why do I find Julie and Julia so praise-worthy ?

Because I have been thinking about the movie for the last three weeks, I suspect I may as long-winded in writing about it as my BIG Teacher, William Faulkner.

You know, William Faulkner – the Great American Novelist who has taught many 20th Century writers how to craft modern fiction.

Who never saw a polysyllabic word he did not like.

Faulkner, the writer who wrote such long sensuous sentences, one of his sentences could run to two and three pages…

And Faulkner who makes you – entices you – to read it to the end , such sound-rich, image-rich, thought-filled sentences they were and are.

So I think I shall begin with the main points – Not in order of importance. Then circle back and elaborate on each.

Having written several pages on these main points, I now whittle them down to the bare bones of Main Points Summary, for this first installment of my discussion.

Make it easy for you, right ?

So here goes. Keep coming back for the following installments, too. With comments.


*The movie is a Hoot

*The movie is about JOY - no , no, the movie is the Experience Of Joy.

Many kinds of joy, too.

*The movie celebrate The importance of Perseverance and Patience in the struggle for success.

*The movie quietly dramatizes The Art of Teaching.

Or, Teaching as Inspiration. Or the Joy of Teaching.

*The movie also explores the question : Are Artist Born (via talent) or Made (by commitment?)

*The Movie modestly underscores an unexpected point: Little Things, So-Called, can and DO change lives

*The movie is excellently done.


To conclude this installment, here is a quote from Julie’s Homage to Julia upon Julia’s death in 2004:

"Who changes their life under the influence of a saint?

Okay – don’t answer that. But the point is –
Julia was so impressive, so instructive, so exhilarating, because she
was a woman, not a goddess. Julia didn’t create armies of drones,
mindlessly equating her name with taste and muttering “It’s a Good
Thing” under their minty breath. Instead she created feisty, buttery,
adventurous cooks
, always diving in to the next possible disaster,
because goddammit, if Julia did it, so could we. "
(Emphasis mine)

Final note to you, my own readers.

If you want to take a look at a seriously perceptive essay on Julia Child’s contribution, on the movie ‘Julie and Julia’, and on the disappearing art of cooking in the US, read Michael Pollan, “Julia's Children: Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch" in the New York Times Magazine, August 2, 2009.

Copyright C 2009 Dinnah G. Pladott, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved

Maximize your success....