Friday, June 18, 2010

Meryl Streep in Julie and Julia

Academy Award Queen Meryl Streep received her record-breaking 16th nomination for playing Julia Child (and lost it to Sandra Bullock, God Almighty!), the legendary American chef, who basically taught America how to cook like the French do. She's tall with a funny voice, she's full of joy and independance, and is a person who enjoys life as much as she can along with her husband with whom she has the most beautiful relationship. Actually this character is so marvellous in every possible way and Streep uses every opportunity to shine.

Julie and Julia is a very entertaining and enjoyable comedy about realtionships, food, love and joy. I've seen it several times, but enjoyed as much as I did for the first time. Stanley Tucci gives a nomination-worthy performance as Paul Child, the supportive husband. His scenes with Meryl are probably this movie's greatest moments. Amy Adams and Chris Messina are decent in their no too inetersting storyline, however, if there's Meryl Streep in a movie, then you can easily realize that it's all about her.

Meryl Streep is masterful in every possible way: she nails the technical part of this performance so well, that in my opinion it's also convincing for the sceptical people. She has the voice and the accent. In fact she's so good with these accents, that it's no wonder Geraldine Page asked the question ironically if Meryl could speak normally.

It's the technical part you admire first in a Meryl Streep performance, still in this movie for me it wasn't about her faces, but mainly about her joyeous spirit. She captured Julia's soul so thrillingly, actually the real life person and Meryl become one and you can't decide what's real. Only with her first scenes she simply made my heart melt like butter, she's so... cute. Actually I don't have many other words for her first scene than cute. If I said Sandra Bullock had charm, than Meryl has gigaübercharm. And her laugh is so indescribably sweet and funny.

Meryl also nails the very few dramatic scenes and handles them with great ease. That crying scene was extremely dangerous, she easily could have ruined that scene, but she knew exactly well when to hold herself back. Some say that scene is bad and useless and in a way I agree (it did not really happen in real life, that was fiction), however I think Meryl solved this little problem quite well.

And of course, the humor department. It's so delicious, subtle and lovely, which is I guess mostly due to Meryl and Tucci. I especially loved her scenes with Jane Lynch, which were simply hilarious (especially the one in front of the mirror). But I must also mention Meryl's brilliant line readings, the way she say "surprised" is so funny. I actually did not mind that Meryl's performance emphasised the comedy and humor of this beautiful character.

And another question came to my mind? Who else could've played this role other than Meryl Streep? Julia Child is a character Meryl was born to do. I read somewhere that Sigourney Weaver would have been better, I doubt it, just because Sigourney is also tall, she's completely different from Julia.

Nevertheless, had the movie been only about Julia (and hadn't it been for that dreadful It's Complicated which ruined her chances) Meryl would have easily won her third. She did not, but again she gifted us with a performance which is (again) definitely not for everyone. But I felt lucky that I saw her and could experience her brilliance. Thank you!

Carey Mulligan's next and after her comes the Conclusion and my ultimate, final pick for 2009 Best Actress. I'm excited and enjoy this thing very much.


Louis Morgan said...

Looks like this will turn out to be a strong year for you.

Fritz said...

Looks like we have a winner! :-)

joe burns said...

It does look like this will be a strong year for you- I hope you also give Carey a five and she'll win, but I have a bad feeling she'll be fourth. If she is, then I hope you'll go with Gabby. Great review by the way.

dinasztie said...

Louis: Yes, I love this year, all of them gave stellar performances. :)

Fritz: Who knows? :)

Joe: I can change my mind about any of the ratings until the final conclusion and I think I will.