Julie & Julia

With beautiful cinematography and a likeable main character, Julie & Julia is a feast for the eyes.

Director: Nora Ephron Starring: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci Julie & Julia reunites the Doubt co-stars Meryl Streep and Amy Adams in a winning tale about the love of food. Based on the novel Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell, the story flits between 1940s Marseilles and 21st-century Queens, New York, following the paths of the American chef and post-war celebrity Julia Child and her fervent admirer, Julie Powell. Streep is in her usual fine form in a role that earned her a record 16th Oscar nomination. She looks as if she's having the time of her life playing the statuesque, always ebullient, occasionally eccentric Child. And while Stanley Tucci may at first seem an odd choice to play the role of her diplomat husband, Paul, the love displayed between the two is a delight to behold. It adds even more to Child's likeability. The same can't be said for Julie (Adams), however. A failed novelist working a forgettable job, Powell takes it upon herself to start a blog. Her aim? To document her trials and tribulations as she works her way through all 524 recipes featured in Child's magnum opus, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in 365 days. It's not that Powell is hugely unlikeable, but comparing her to Child is like asking someone to choose between a supermarket branded bar of chocolate or a rich, creamy Godiva truffle. Nevertheless, the cinematographer Stephen Goldblatt's excellent depiction of a soft and warm Marseille clashes perfectly with the harsher tones of modern-day New York, making Julie & Julia a feast for both the eyes and the mind.