I've been sitting on this post for at least a week now. I am trying to write (some) stuff in advance and let it marinate for a bit before posting, but still I shouldn't forget about it, anyhow...
I can't promise this will be a new W&C feature, but you'll probably start seeing more movie-related posts every now and then. This past Christmas we gave ourselves a "house gift" of a new big-screen TV and were also quite easily talked into a Blu-Ray home theater system. This has resulted in watching more movies (or Blu-Ray material), even going so far as getting a Blockbuster membership (which seems so 1993 or something!).
As with my book posts, I suspect these posts won't be so much about the movie, but more about what brought me to it and what things/thoughts it stirred up...
First up is Julie & Julia. Basically, I was looking to get some prep for this year's Oscars with the legendary Meryl Streep's take as the legendary Julia Child. With this record 16th Academy Award nomination, it seemed as if Streep had the edge to win her 3rd (she hasn't won since Sophie's Choice in 1983!), but now it seems that Sandra Bullock has the momentum to win on her first ever nomination with The Blind Side.
Again, I won't go too much into the film. It was cute and quite enjoyable, better than I had expected. As expected, Streep is stellar, more of homage than distracting imitation. With most of this movie taking place before Child became famous, Streep creates a younger and even more vibrant of Child than the one we are familiar via the television (easily compared thanks to bonus material featuring Child cooking show clips).
The surprise was the "Julie" half of the movie, which was rumored to have paled to the "Julia" part. I think Amy Adams is just one of those uber-likable actresses (ala Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts) that can pretty much making anything watchable/forgivable, though I did not think this half of the movie needed "saving" (perhaps it was the lowered expectations going in). It could have been the blogging component that made it more interesting for me as Julie Powell was really one of the first to turn a blog into a brand new life and career.
... and this brings me to the first detour: blogging leading to bigger and better things. Blogs, and now even Twitter feeds, have become the new Hollywood Boulevard drugstore with starlets hoping to be plucked from obscurity with hopes of fame and fortune. While this is a nice fantasy, it was never something that entered my mind when I started blogging (nor is it now!). There are quite a few reasons for this: a) I'm not ambitious and b) I am not a good enough writer (we're talking grammar, punctuation, etc), c) my "material" is nowhere near focused enough... and that's just off the top of my head.
Now, would I love to make a living writing? Absolutely. Do I think it will happen? Well, even having dabbled in quasi-professional writing in the past, the answer would be... no. I am not sure if it's poor self-esteem coupled or just an honest self-assessment that I am just not good enough to do it for a living. I think the same of those folks who are not so subtlety gunning for a book deal via their blogs/feeds/etc. While I think many (most!) of these folks are far more talented than I am, I still think there is a good deal of delusion in play. Part of me worries for them, but part of me thinks good for them for the self-belief! Ditto to the person I stumbled upon who said they would love photography to be their new career. Again, this person is a talented photographer, but get in line buddy... behind me! And, for the record, I assess my photography skills similarly to my writing skills.
The next detour is how fun would it be to live in Europe for an extended period of time. It was thrillingly romantic to see Julia and her husband arrive in Paris for an extended (several year) stay... and alas, a palpable sadness when it was time to leave. Our 2008 trip to Europe was absolutely life-altering for me and I would love to live in any of the cities we visited. There is just a whole different style of life/culture over there that I think would be amazing to immerse oneself into for an extended period of time. I am sure it would get old eventually, but think it would take quite some time to get there.
The thing is that we could probably figure out a way to do it. Most of Todd's business unit (and his immediate boss) is located in France (alas not Paris, but a good-sized city), so there's that for starters... and I can pretty much work anywhere.
But before dreams of a long weekend in Barcelona, a train rides to Rome, a quick flights to Santorini, or the allure of "coffee" in Amsterdam start dancing in my head, one is roused awake by the logistics of leaving, even temporarily... leaving things behind like a house and pets and family and well, a lot of stuff! But Julia's life-changing years and joie de vivre in Paris, certainly got the daydreaming juices flowing, so much so that we are currently plotting a return to Europe.
So, a final return to the actual movie... quite fun, no-brainer of the movie, only further enhanced by a supporting cast including Chris Messina (who I mooned about - and shared his "moon" - last summer during the film's theatrical release) as Julie's husband Eric... Mary Lynn Rajskub, best known as 24's resident curmudgeon Chloe... the always fine Stanley Tucci as Julia's hubby... and even Glee's own Sue Sylvester, Jane Lynch in a small role as Julia's sister.