28 April 2010

Julie and Julia

Based on a book by Julie Powell, Julie and Julia is a film that details the relationship between two people who barely know each other physically, but who get connected through their memoirs. Julie tries to make her days more meaningful by initiating a project -- to start blogging about her one-year assignment to cook all the recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by none other than Julia Childs and her two French friends, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle.

The film does show that to accomplish such a tasking assignment is not easy and you need more than just yourself, but a very supportive spouse to help you through, in the same way that Julia Childs had her husband encourage her to realise her true passion -- cooking. Similar to Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate, Julie and Julia uses cooking as a poignant metaphor of learning about oneself, one's desire, and one's fear.

But across the two generations, one starts to see the difference in terms of social status. Julia was a wife to a political diplomat who was designated to station in various US embassies overseas. She didn't need to work and cooking was more like a hobby-like vocation. Julie, on the other hand, represents a modern-day city woman in her early thirties, who has to work full-time. Cooking for her is definitely something extra that she needs to fill in her time. But the similarity is that the two women find cooking a hobby that makes their lives meaningful.

It makes me wonder that there's something about this film more than just cooking. It's the writing about it: Julia collaborating on her French cookbook and Julie on her blog. Writing does emphasize the experience of sharing and communication, something that we nowadays are deprived of. Like cooking, writing means you spend time thinking about words and about how to mix them up before sending them out. Both Julie and Julia are concerned with publishing, as it means that their voices are heard and that people out there appreciate what they're doing. Publishing, in this sense, is not so different from seeing your friends enjoy the food you just cooked -- sharing something good.

I'm not sure whether I'm doing the same thing here, trying to share something good. But I guess that somewhere somehow in this blog I've laid myself bare for your scrutiny. Sexy feeling, isn't it?

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