Julia Child Considered The Julie/Julia Project 'a Stunt'

julia-child-mastering1Publisher's Weekly spoke to Judith Jones, Senior Editor and Vice President at Alfred A. Knopf, and Julia Child's editor and confidante, who shared her recollection of Child's feelings on Julie Powell's blog:

Jones says Child did not approve of Powell’s cook-every-recipe-in-one-year project. The editor and author read Powell’s blog together (Julie and Julia was published a year after Child’s 2004 death). “Julia said, ‘I don’t think she’s a serious cook.’ ” Jones thinks there was a generational difference between Powell and Child. “Flinging around four-letter words when cooking isn’t attractive, to me or Julia. She didn’t want to endorse it. What came through on the blog was somebody who was doing it almost for the sake of a stunt. She would never really describe the end results, how delicious it was, and what she learned. Julia didn’t like what she called ‘the flimsies.’ She didn’t suffer fools, if you know what I mean.”

Also, we can't help but call out the hideous modification of wraparound on the cover of Mastering The Art of French Cooking (buy at Amazon) to promote the film Julie & Julia — is nothing sacred?

Update: Matt in the comments informs us that it's just "a wraparound band on the cover promoting the movie. Take it off and it's just 'Mastering The Art Of French Cooking'." That's not so bad then.

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  1. Paula

    Oh, dear. It's the 40th anniversary edition, too. Poor Julia.

  2. I whole heartedly agree with Julia's sentiments. J&J Project is totally unreadable for anyone who loves and appreciates cooking and food. Flimsies indeed.

  3. christagirl

    I thought I was the only one who thought that! I couldn't read it. I tried. It was just a bunch of ranting from a very angry person, in my opinion. Very disappointed.

    • Carolfoasia

      Me too. I assure you. You are not the only one who couldn't read it. Made it to page 95 and considered it a triumph. Then, I brought it back to the bookstore for a full refund!

  4. I haven't read Julie/Julia but that ugly book cover alone probably has Ms. Child rolling in her grave. I might give the Julie/Julia movie the benefit of the doubt because of Meryl Streep though.

  5. Eek. That kind of hurts... I reckon if you pitch the jacket cover the hardback cover is unmodified, though. I understand the value of the cross-marketing potential, and pity the apparent death throes of the publishing industry, but this is a serious toughie. For a lot of folks, this is like cross-branding a Holy Bible with the Jesus du jour. The saving grace is that Streep does not make for a strange bedfellow with Child, their contributions are on the same level of quality and authenticity. In Powell's defense, the generation gap is not something to be underplayed. Not to say that Child couldn't possibly understand Powell, but Powell's effort was seriously authentic as well, in its own way.

  6. AMEN. the book cover, to me, is just the final straw...

  7. I just got copies of the books at a giveaway and you can take comfort in knowing that the book shown above only has a wraparound band on the cover promoting the movie. Take it off and it's just "Mastering The Art Of French Cooking".

  8. Astonishing. This makes Mr. Henderson's well wishes for my site all the more dear to me.

  9. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who didn't like the book. I've only found good reviews on it, but when I started reading, Julie's utter disdain for the families of the 9/11 victims was very disturbing and insulting. Although none of my family or friends were hurt, I was in NY during that time and had friends whose family members who were hurt or went missing from the event and the rescue efforts. Later I worked with the NYS Museum on their commemorative exhibit and the feelings attributed to objects by survivors and family members was dizzying! To glorify this heartlessness was so frustrating that I didn't even get half way through the book.

    • Carolfoasia

      Me too. I was dumbfounded by her lack of compassion. You got farther than me though. I slammed it down when she told her husband to "F....Off!" on Page 95. I said, "Enough!"

    • ngyoung

      I didn't read the book but to be fair when working at a call center can do that to anyone. The compassion gets drained from you. I am sure working at a call center in that particular field you'd have to force yourself to detach just to keep from crying with every caller.

      • Lizzy

        I have to completely agree with this comment. After being beat up on a daily basis from customer or callers, it is emotionally draining and you need to let out your frustrations somehow. I'm sure if she had not been working that job, she would have felt differently.

  10. rainey

    I didn't read Julie Powell's book -- I had the audio CDs and listened to her read it while I commuted 'cause I was so interested in what that experience had been.

    It didn't surprise me in the least when she got to the part where JC declined to meet Powell. I wouldn't have either. And it wasn't about how seriously or unseriously she regarded food. She just sounded like a whiney, overly entitled, self-absorbed person. And more than a little obsessive.

    I know that's a hard thing to say. I wouldn't say it if I had been reading the book in my own imagined voice -- I'd think I might not be being fair. But when it was her own version of what her intentions are... At some point you've got to let the chips fall where they are. ::shrug::

    Meanwhile, if you read Child's nephews reconstructions of JC's Paris diaries you've got to fall in love with such an exciting woman and generous soul. Julia's the real deal. She deserves better than to be defined for a new generation by this wannabe.

    • Carolfoasia

      I agree completely. Julia's biography was delightful! She was the antithesis of Julie! Love, love, loved that book!

  11. Ashley

    Why didn't they just make the movie about Julia Child, she's the interesting one! I realize this is based on a book, but honestly, I could care less about a blog writer. I want to hear about her Julia given that her life story is actually very interesting and inspiring.

  12. First of all, this isn't news. Julie wrote about learning about Julia's rejection of the idea of the project in the book.

    Second, let me interrupt the pile-on in progress by saying that the Julie-Julia project was inspirational to me and I think to a lot of other readers. In particular, @Gastronomer, I think you paint with too broad a brush. Lots of us love food, writing, and honesty. Not every cook can attend Cordon Bleu--in fact, most American cooks have their learning experiences with food mediated through cookbooks, and what Julie showed us was that you could set a high goal, accomplish it, and change yourself through it.

    • Raven Rose

      Right On! I loved the movie and found it very inspiring from both Julie and Julia's stories. I think it's completely rude of Julia to be such a snob about the meeting, she obviously made a huge impression on Julie, and that's no way to treat a fan.
      Bon Appetit!

      • Narissa

        Because of the generational difference, maybe that's the reason yuo think Julia was being "snobbish". The movie, which I saw the other day, was quite a treat, but I was searching around the internet and found the blog of Julie (wasn't that hard to find, actually) and I didn't get why she wasn't writing about the actual food. She seemed to be writing about her life first, and kind of wrapping that story around the point of the blog. I had to go very far back to see just names of some entrées she was going to be preparing that night. I couldn't bear to try harder to find anything like "describing the end results, how delicious it was, and what she learned". Saying "I cooked this-and-that from Julia's cookbook and it went well" doesn't really seem like something someone would look at seriously, and I don't wonder why Julia was angered at this. I'm not saying Julie didn't risk things, I'm saying Julia really risked things. And the movie was a bit of a disillusionment. I was so heartbroken when Amy adams uttered, "Julia hates me!" but when I looked around and saw what was actually written in the blog I thought, "I wouldn't be too fond of you, meself".

        Also, it's good that this story is inspiring, because either way you look at it, it is about setting goals and staying with them, and hopefully making yourself a better person/ finding something great in yourself in the process. I don't want to seem like I'm spitting on Julie Powell, I'm just not disagreeing with Julia Child. If she was writing a blog about cooking, she should've focused on the food more. Of course, write about your life, and it's especially interesting to see how it's being affected by something like this, but don't write solely about how you lost your job.

        But this is my personal opinion and I don't expect anyone to agree with me.

  13. Ster

    Wow. I'm surprised at all of the negativity I've seen directed at this whole thing. Make no mistake, I hate the new MtAoFC cover as much as the next person, but Julie Powell? I totally get her. The book wasn't really supposed to be about food, and Julie never claimed to be any sort of real chef. She was a person who was floundering around and looking for a reason to wake up in the morning and go to her secretarial at the "government agency" that oversaw the aftermath of 9/11. God, I'd find that so incredibly draining. This project brought her back to life, and then completely changed it. Julia Child inspired someone so different and disconnected from her, and that? Is awesome. I, for one, would love to have my own personal "Julia" rattling around in the apartment of my brain. I know a lot of people (Julia Child being one of them)don't get it, and that's ok. I know it spoke to at least one person!

  14. K

    Why are serious foodies acting as if you have to take sides (it’s either Child or Powell) but why not see the good in both? I love Julia Child, I watched her cooking shows all through my childhood & reading her book, My Life in France, confirmed just how amazing she really was...but this doesn't mean I can't be inspired by Julie Powell too.

    I do agree about the wrap around on the book though. When I walked past a huge Julie & Julia display on my way to work I gasped (but really I am almost NEVER on board for slapping a photo from a book-adaptation movie onto the book...it just feels cheap).

  15. Ronald

    I got no love for Julie Powell, necessarily, but to hear her complaining about the swears is pretty hilarious. Wasn't Julia Child, especially as a young woman, notoriously ribald and blunt?

  16. Princess Crazypants

    Hey if Julia Child went around saying "f" this and "F" that and saying stuff like "Sh*t" and "Jesus F'n CHRIST" then why isn't MERYL STREEP saying it all in the film? For that matter, why is Amy Adams not giving us a dose of Julie POwell's trench mouth?

    • Carolfoasia

      Because the movie is a "softer" Julie. See interview with Julie Powell here: http://www.bordersmedia.com/bookclub/powell

      The part about "Julie/Julia the Movie is where she says that the character in the movie is NOT her.

      The real Julie probably would not be very appetizing to the general public, and the movie would be rated "R".

      • Rob the Cook

        Oh lord, I smell something cooking and it isn't from Child's book. I've spent most of my life in NYC and you self righteous NY snobs make me want to puke. And for the record I'm shocked that Child herself wouldn't welcome another take on her book and her life. Julie Powell may not be a cook, a great writer (I didn't read her book), or even a great person...but the jealousy simmering from you Carol because Powell has a best seller and you do not is really f'ing gross. Viva Julia and Viva Julie.

      • Carolfoasia

        Hey Rob, I am sorry if I offended you. I am not sure why you think I would be jealous or want to have a bestseller? I am just a reader and had an opinion. It doesn't make me jealous because I have an opinion, does it? I feel really misunderstood, and that makes me pretty darn sad this morning.

        Also, I'm not from NY, never even been there. Just didn't like the book. I ran into a lady at an office when I was buying the tickets to the movie that thought she was a real "prude" for not liking Julie's book. She is not even a super conservative person (or a snob). She was just really disturbed by it, and she was a lot farther than I was and said it got much worse.

        Back to Julie Powell. If you read all my comments, you can see that I do think that Julie did a great thing by bringing Julia Child's cookbook back off the book shelf. She had a brilliant idea, and I applaud her for that alone. I am just sorry that her book will probably not appeal to the general public (I am not sure what a NY snob is, to tell you the truth).

        My friend came here and saw your angry post and told me about it. Again, I am very sorry for offending you. I would be happy to resolve this in private if you feel that is necessary.

  17. RJ Johnson

    With the state of the country, WHO CARES? Go call your Congressperson...do something for someone who has NOTHING!

    • Nancy

      Which makes me wonder why YOU are commenting and not out saving the world? Are you going on every site that has nothing to do with your agenda and wagging your finger? It's quite a bore, but you've probably been told that already.

  18. andrea 3

    If Julie hadn't been writing about a famous person, hardly anyone might have noticed her blog so one is left with an uncertainty over whether this is "poaching." When Julia Child refused to meet Julie she was elderly and ill and blogging was a brand new phenomenon. Had this happened today, Julia might have met Julie. Whether or not she'd have liked her we'll never know.

  19. I am finally reading "Julie and Julia" after hearing so much about the book. I cannot get over the cold personality of Julie Powell. The comments about 9/11 were cruel and hurtful. Whatever happened to compassion? I hope Amy Adams will make Julie much warmer than in the book. Also, clean up your language Julie..

  20. Nancy

    I just saw the movie today, and it's very obvious that it was, indeed, a stunt. There was so much more substance and style to Julia Child than Ms. Powell seems even close to possessing, although, to be fair, Child was 49 when MTAOFC was published, so Powell has time to create her own identity.

  21. Andy

    i think that it wasn't a stunt. the way that the movie Julie&Julia portrays the story, that Julie's intentions were fantastic and she DID do it for the sake of cooking and that you all are extremely hard on her. plus its her first book. Depending on what you define as a "stunt", i think she did do that to get somewhat known or get published but why is that bad??? I think maybe she should be questioned but ganging up on people is hardly exceptable which is why i don't care too much for these comments because you don't even know either women personoally or know what either was thinking or what exactly happened. personally, i think it is a charming story....most of it.

    • True North

      Women being hard on another woman. So sad but so prevalent. Cmon ladies, let's show a little support for one another.

  22. S

    In some way or another, every blog, including this one, is a publicity stunt. In fact, every kind of publication is a publicity stunt. That is true for all books, both Powell's, Child's, this blog, and every book out there. It is a means for getting other people to read, listen, or watch you.

    It is sad that Child, who claimed she set out to share her joy of food with Americans who didn't know how to cook, took such a negative attitude toward Powell who was setting out to do just that. To me, it definitely casts a shadow on an otherwise extraordinary life.

    I have seen the movie, but I think it is ridiculous to think that the movie gives anyone insight into either Childs or Powell. It is a movie. For entertainment. Nora Ephron is not a biopic movie producer. She is a feel-good movie producer and that is what she did. The same goes for the books and the blog. Powell didn't write everything about her life on the blog, and neither wrote every detail about their life in their books. It is crazy for anyone to think they 'know' either of these people.

  23. A Friend

    One of the rare books I couldn't finish. Mrs. Child suffered no fools. She was direct and straight forward to a fault. A passion for food and cooking was everything. Judith Jones hit it on the head. Make no bones about it, Mrs. Child had her wits about her enough to know what this woman's intentions were. After reading the book when it first came out, it was obvious that someone figured out how to ride on the long strings of her apron. I don't know Ms. Powell, but I was fortunate enough to know Julia. An indelible person on my soul and a positive force in my life.

    • Carolfoasia

      You knew Julia! Well, by all means, share with us how you knew her, what you learned. How exciting to have known her!!!

  24. Katheen Tsitsilianos

    I have just seen the film Julie/Julia and felt that it was a lovely film. Meryl Streep did an admirable job and I enjoyed so much learning more about Julia Child as I grew up watching her early shows on television. I think it is a shame that the two never met, Julie and Julia I mean. The film portrays Julie as idolizing Julia.

  25. Susan

    To my mind, the difference between Julia and Julie is not generational -- it's a matter of quality. Julia was authentic, passionate, intelligent -- it was about the cooking, the experience, the expression. Meeting and maintaining a standard. Not about HER. What a concept!

    Julie, on the other hand, is the opposite. Rain down curses upon my head, but blogging is a blight, and is, in the high majority of cases, not writing. Any yahoo can start a blog, and any yahoo does. The Internet has destroyed the line between an opinion and an informed opinion. Julie pulled a stunt, she came up with a gimmick and wrangled herself a deal. Look at how she came to get her book published, and look at how Julia went about it. It's the difference between smoke and substance. It has nothing to do with Julia's age or infirmity. She saw something cheap being attached, not only to herself, but to something she loved and respected. Such standards are dying with the Julia Childs of the world.

    And by the way, how do any of us know that Julie really cooked those dishes, someone that self-obsessed and whiny is not going to bone a duck and prepare it en croute...

    • S

      Blogs are a blight? If they are so bad, why are you reading one and commenting on it?

      And Julia Child didn't cook all the recipes in MTAFC either. Remember, she had two co-authors.

  26. Shirley Jackson

    My husband and I just saw Julia/Julie at the movies and loved it. While I would have enjoyed it just as much if not more with just the Julia part, I think perhaps the intertwining of the two stories may also draw the younger crowd to see the movie and learn a lot about Julia Child which they may not have done otherwise. Meryl Streep did a fantastic job playing Julia Child and made me want to go look up everything I could find about her. Whether the original blog was simply a means for a young dissatisfied woman to get a let up in the literary world I don't know, but it seems to me that in a way she was doing the same as Julia Child--trying to find her niche' in the world.

  27. Pam

    I think everyone is taking this too seriously. Who doesn't try a gimmick now and then to get yourself noticed? I saw the movie and loved it. I also liked Julia Child when I was growing up but I don't feel the need to "choose" between Julia and Julie. Julie P did something very interesting and they made a movie about it. See the movie with an open mind......don't feel like you are betraying Julia C by liking the movie...I think Streep will win an award for her portrayal...loosen up and enjoy the film...it is a new tribute to a wonderful person and I , for one, am glad this generation will at least know who Julia Child is.

    • Carolfoasia

      Here, here! I agree. This is going to lead people to explore French Cuisine! MTAOFC would have remained on my library shelves gathering dust. Now, it will be a hot book.

      I think Julie had a brilliant idea. I do believe she cooked every recipe too. I just wish she would have had an editor who would have cleaned the book up a bit. It just is so crass. That is my only complaint.

  28. Lisa Eichman

    I agree with Julia's sentiments too. I just saw the movie and came away feeling that Julie Powell is nothing more than an egotist seeking attention - what a spoiled brat!!!! (And I'm sure they cleaned her up for the movie.) She is NOT a serious cook and Julia was right to not endorse the project! As for the move, I would much rather have seen a movie based on Julia Child's life in France with the cast used in those seens in "Julie & Julia"!! There is hope for that, though. I seem to remember an "American Masters" production (from PBS) that focused on Julia and Paul Child's life and how she became an American icon. So maybe we'll get a movie someday too.

  29. Gigi

    I don't endorse the movie....but you have to admit Julia Child is once again popular. Before watching the movie I read the book Julie/Julia and hunted down my VHS from my basement to watch with my family The French Chef...all 54 episodes. I then cooked Julia's boeuf bourguignon in honor of julia child and judith jones after watching the movie. this is what all the hype about julie/julia did for me.

  30. A Friend

    Passion. You see it in a painting. You read it in a book. You taste and revel in flavors introduced to your tongue as if for the first time. Old flavors mingled with new techniques and imagination brought on by the passions of the cook and chef. That is what Mrs. Child brought to the people in this country. The sparkle in her eye catching the excitement in something as simple as a perfectly risen souffle. That is what Julia was like. Eyes of a surprisingly, brillaint cornflower blue. A stoop, possibly from standing over a myriad of stovetops. Never tiring. Never tired. And you knew to never utter that profane word 'tired' for you'd be reprimanded by a frozen stare. Julia was passion, energy and had a tireless thirst for knowledge regarding all things food and to those that shared that passion and same spark. To gain a true insight read Appetite for Life by Noel Riley Fitch and Backstage With Julia written by Nancy Verde Barr.

  31. tom

    I just saw the movie and LOVED IT! Found it very inspirational. I think alot of the pissing and moaning going on in this chat is based on one thing, JEALOUSY! Enough Said!

  32. Ricardo

    The film proves that you don't necessarily need to be a great writer to be successful, but you do need a great idea. Julie Powell had one. But it's Julia Child who had a lasting impact on American society. I suspect the film will give a whole new lease on life to Beef Bourguignon.

    • Carolfoasia

      LOL! So true! I am going to attempt it tonight. I don't know why I am afraid to do it though. MTAOFC is #1 on Amazon now. Amazing.

  33. Barbara E

    Thank you for validating something I personally got in reading Powell's (later) blog. Caveat: I've never read Powell's year-of-cooking blog.

    I watched the movie yesterday and the Powell character (Adams) seemed not at all like the person whose blog I scanned through last night. I think that Julia was a very astute and confident woman who trusted her instincts. I believe those instincts were correct in this case.

  34. Diannia

    I just came home from seeing Julie and Julia...I LOVED the movie. I wondered why Julia didn't want to meet Julie so I googled it. I was disappointed to find out the reason. I agree with Pam...enjoy the movie...enjoy Julia Child's cook book. After reading these comments I probably won't read Julie's book...but I would see the movie again. I don't think Julie was pulling a "stunt"...I think she needed to sort something in her life out and with the help of Julia Child...she did. She said she was going to cook every recipe and blog about her experience...she did in the way it affected HER...she didn't promice anything else. She set a goal and achieved it. God Bless Julia Child..and lots of luck to Julie.

  35. GiGi

    Once art is out there, the creator no longer controls it and its value is determined by each individual. The same with anything that is created. So if Julie Powell found solace, salvation, a new way of being, and love for the Julia she got to know through the recipes, isn't that wonderful all by itself? Once Mastering the Art of French Cooking was public, it ceased to be Julia Child's sole property. She was entitled to her own opinion (as it is relayed by others), but it doesn't and shouldn't change the value of what Julie Powell created. I think it's wonderful and inspiring that Julie Powell undertook the project and shared it with us. Loved the movie, too. However sparsely, it contextualized Julia Child for me in so many ways, and made me love her more, too.

    Open your hearts, people.

  36. Mary Arulanantham

    I read the book and didn't like Julie Powell as she presented herself--self-absorbed and brittle. Loved the movie, and I think Meryl Streep's Julia is supposed to be the Julia as idolized in Julie's imagination. Nevertheless, it is interesting that Julie nearly wrecked her marriage over this project, all in the name of cooking!?! While Julia Child may have been flawed in her own ways (we all are, right?), her aim was to share the joy that that first taste of sole meurnier (sp?) brought to her when Americans were in love with the scientific ease of mixes and short cuts. Julia and Paul may have suffered over how long it took Julia to bring her book to fruition, but I doubt they missed the joy of the food, as Powell seems to--over and over.

  37. Andrew Gordon

    My wife dragged me to the movie last night. I couldn't care less about cooking, but I loved the movie. What Julie Powell has done is make Julia Child live for another generation! Whether you like Julie's personality or not, she has done us all a favor by drawing attention once again to the larger-than life personality that was Julia Child.

  38. Theater Goer and wanna-be-chef

    Well, I just saw the movie. I thought is was cute. I am not into this debate on who is who and what is what but I can tell you that it expanded my mind in my wanting to try and learn 'real cooking'.

    Opened me to the joy that others can make in your life and you don't even have to know them. From what I gather Julie's language in her book is, well, "colorful", does that make her less or just real? I think that is what I take from the whole thing and looking over what others have written is Julie is as real to these days as Julia was to those past. Neither better nor worse (ok, well personally I think these days are worse). So what can we all take now from both of them and how do we change our worlds or those around us by our experience?

    I love the idea that they both shared something they were passionate about! Take the good, let go of the bad and make a better day- I think both Julie and Julia would agree with that.

  39. Cooking in NYC

    Ok, people. Saw the movie. Loved Street and Tucci....and who wouldn't love JULIA CHILD...remember her as a kid in those PBS Shows.

    Don't give a hoot about Julie Powell - whether she did this as a stunt - or where she goes from here.

    Sorry that Julia Child was distressed by her. The woman definitely didn't need that in her last years.

    BUT - the story did bring to the forefront ......more interest (40 year anniversary or not) ... in Mastering the Art of French Cooking...and Julia Child, the woman: Who she was, what she accomplished, represented, and what she did to help American women stop opening cans plus feeding their kids TV dinners. (Trust me...those Swanson TV Dinners were pretty bad...except for the ... very tiny ... dessert. Then again, I was a fat little kid.)

    What a bigger than life woman! I've never stopped to remember her shows without smiling...and I never took up cooking seriously until last year.........at an older age than Julia when she started.

    So let's end of a high note, shall we? That's what Julia would have done.....

    Beef Bougeon anyone? :)


  40. Gloria

    While I enjoyed the movie Julie Powell has an agenda and some obvious psychotic issues. So many issues that they had to tone her character way down in the movie.

    Julia Child on the other hand is an example for all to follow.
    She is and was a person of integrity and highest character.
    Her marriage and her love and caring for everyone was her shining light.
    I can totally understand Julia Child having a problem with cheapening her work and Powell using her celebrity as a horse to ride. Julie rode in on Julia Childs back of great work, fame and reputation.
    So many people hate Powells narcissitic writing, her hateful tone on Republicans, her foul mouth as she laughs all the way to the bank.
    One of the only good things Powell did is make it possible for a self centered publisher and movie studio to shine a light on one of Americas true heroes, and great people. Julia and her husband. What wonderful true American heroes.

    The true Julie Powell is not in the movie. She is a clueless psychotic deceiving many people.

  41. Gloria

    PS Wouldn't using an episode with Jacques Pépin and Julia in the kitchen been nice to put in.
    The times those two cooked together should be on Comedy Central.
    They sparred and cooked had fun and made fun of each other with such grace and style.The respect, admiration and love for each other showed a great friendship.

  42. Gloria

    Done for now another thought.

    Julie Powell never talked about the food the eating the experience in her writing. She was too busy being dime store psycho fixed.

    Julis Childs whole premise was her wonderful realness, confidence, grace and style and she was always teaching while being SO comfortable in her skin.

    She is the antithisis of Julie Powell.
    Julie Powell could be described as the anti-Christ or the opposite of Julia.
    I give Powell credit if she truly was trying to be more like Julia. But it still seems so fake in her writing and not talking about the food etc.

  43. Dale Mack

    I just watched Julie & Julia and liked it, but I have to admit I could have done with a little Julie and more about Julia. I have read every book about Julia Child and that alone would be interesting. But overall, you must admit, like Julie Powell or not, she has brought Julia Child to an entirely new generation and, no doubt, sold a few more copies of her classic cookbook. That's not a bad thing.

  44. julia hater

    i think you all are horrible. this woman is just doing this for the love of cooking and if you havent even read the blog how can you hate it. you should all be ashamed.

    • Marie

      Horrible? Really? A bit strong, don't you think? And there's plenty worse things to be ashamed about. Truth is blogging is always at least a bit narcissistic and Julie is no Julia. What the blog, movie, book and controversy illuminate is the blight of shallow reality show/blog/MeMeMe culture where image is all, publicists craft reality, and we confuse true greatness with fame. I don't know who Julie really is, and I don't really care. Julia Child will endure because she is talented and funny and strong and real. If Julie is really a writer, she'll endure. If not, she'll become a footnote to a great woman's life.

  45. Shane

    Julie is just somebody who decided they were going to get their 15 minutes of fame at any cost. She never intended on being a chef, and frankly thank god. She just rumaged through her junk until she found the first thing she thought she could make money on.

    I am grateful that Julia Child is being brought back into the spotlight. But this would have happened anyway if a movie was made about just her life (which is what we all wanted to see anyway :)

  46. I have not read the blog and honestly I am not much of a reader so I probably will never read the book. I don't think Julie ever wanted to be a chef and it was definitely a brave undertaking. I do think that it was due to a generational gab that Julia did not understand it. I am only 24 and the idea of blogging is a little annoying to me. I think Julie was probably just frustrated with her situation and she wanted something to keep her going and feel relevent. I loved the movie and if this book/blog was what made it possible, I am glad it was written.

  47. I saw the movie today, (loved it) and read the book last weekend at our summer cottage. I enjoyed the complete enjoyment of both of them. Makes me want to cook up a storm (even my hubby wants to help me). Julie and julia carry me away aka Calgon!

  48. MJ

    The movie was a delight---no violence, unless you call the "Lobster scene" violent......my hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed it! As for all of the blog-haters of Julie....you all need to relax and just go and enjoy a recipe or two of Julia's.....Bon Appetit!

  49. True North

    Psychotic and the anti-Christ? What's going on here? Is this a town hall meeting or something?

  50. Gene De Lisa

    so what's up with boiling bacon for the boeuf bourguignon?
    what does that accomplish besides removing flavor? Was 1961 bacon different from now?

  51. Leah

    I read the book - and I'm astonished that in 2009 so many people are offended by swearing. Really people? Have you not used the F word? Never heard it? OMG, coming upon these comments, I thought I had interrupted a church social circa 1926. I think American needs to unpucker its butt a little.

    Julie Powell had a great idea - and she had the ability to write about it and gain a following. Sue her. Julia Child is now a household name and entity to an entire generation who didn't experience her first hand.

    she's not the best writer, and she's not the worst. It isn't the best book I've ever read and it isn't the worst. She isn't the sweetest and nicest person in the world - and she isn't the most hateful and horrible. Really people - these strong opinions? Seems like some of the folks here have some issues.

    I think that the opinions here are based out of jealousy and although no-one has said it yet - I think people are reacting to Julie Powells dislike of the Republican party. If you are going to slam her and her idea and her character and her work - at least have the balls to admit what your problem with her is.

  52. Alice Liles

    I haven't read the blog or the book, but just saw the movie and walked out of the theater with a smile on my face. And taken on its own merits, I thought the movie did a great job of introducing Julia Child to a generation who may not know her, could serve as inspiration for people floundering in their own lives to take up a challenge to get back on track, and to share the romances of two couples who seemed to genuinely love and care about each other. Don't beat it to death; just enjoy it.

  53. Lizzie B

    I met Julia Child in her kitchen in Cambridge, MA in the early 1990s.

    A photo of she and I hangs in my kitchen.

    She was a wonderful hostess and a delightful person. She was the real deal.

    Kudos to Julie for getting off her rear and DOING SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE. For all of you trashing her, what are YOU doing with your lives?? Posting on blogs at night? Sad.......

  54. Elizabeth

    I don't believe that swearing is essential in order for a book, movie or play to be successful. It leaves a bad taste. The English language has enough vocabulary that one does not have to resort to the use of profanity without really referring to the matter for instance by using such words in order to arouse interest, to show off, and express to others that the setting is informal or to emphasize something by swearing when something bad happens such as coffee spilling, people curse. It is not necessary to have to curse so that the audience then knows that you're undergoing a negative emotion. I think swearing could have been developed by those who do not have a proper command of the standard english language. Or it is often used by those as a last resort, to force others to hear that they are frustrated. What is the thrill about dropping a bunch of "F" terms? DProfanity is the exclamation point of the ignorant.

  55. Elizabeth

    I apologize for leaving out the most important comments: I saw the movie last night and I loved it. I wanted to see the movie as soon as I heard about it. I went with my daughter (she is 22) and she is really on a roll now gathering recipies of Julia Child.

  56. ann channack

    I saw the film yesterday and even though Im English, I had seen Julia Childs a few times on cookery programmes which I think is rather unusual for out of the States. Anyway thought Meryl Streep, as usual, was wonderful and she got the voice SO right. There were times in the film to get the 6'2" effect that the effects were slightly like in a "funny" house at a funfair. We do have a couple of iconic cooks that parallel your Julia and I will wait to hear their comments too. We have Margarite Patten in her 90's now and was in the Ministry of Food in wartime and is now reveered by all the cooks today and Keith Floyd who gave birth to the TV cook that is out anywhere cooking. We had Fanny Cradock but not comparable with Julia as she was more eccentric than talented, although also trying to bring French food to us. There is Elizabeth David also who in the 50's bought Med. food to England. Anyway I thought at the end ...what would a 90 year old know even what a blog was!! but would really have just liked a film about Julia. Ann

  57. Dennis M

    I knew that Julia loved to eat, so did her husband, that is why she learned to cook. But Julie? Did she love to eat? I never got that sense. Quality wins out every time. That is why MTAOFC is in it's 40th-something printing. Cute movie, the blog, like most, too self absorbing, and the send money link? Please. The online version of a curb side window washer.

  58. Aimee

    I know that many people didn't like the Julie/Julia movie & book. And while I also found Julie Powell whiny and annoying, it opened me up to learning about Julia Child. For that I'll be ever grateful to Julie Powell.

  59. Kristy

    Movie was fun, lively and portrayed in Julia in an interesting and energetic manner. I was unimpressed with Julie in the movie. I'm with Julia Child on this one.

  60. Jeff

    Julie's book and the subsequent movie have probably done wonders for the sale of Julia's cookbook. I was in Williams Sonoma today and people were grabbing them up and everyone was saying..."Ahhh, this is the book from the movie." Whether Julia liked it or not, it has probably introduced a whole new generation to her and her cookbook.

  61. Not your business

    Some of you people are so ignorant and quick to judge. Obviously her blog was enjoyed by many. If somebody can show me where it says she is writing this to tell people what the food taste like...oh you probably can't.

    I highly doubt she did the blog for "15 minutes of fame" either.I doubt she thought that by doing her blog and finally finishing something that she would become famous.

    Julia Child's should be ashamed of her behavior in the end.This is a woman who just one day decides to start cooking because she is BORED...and a woman who was turned down and criticized by others. What she said about Julie just make's Julia look like a damn hypocrite. She should have been flattered. I had no idea who Julia Child's was until this movie. Hmm.

    Oh and Gloria, you appear to be the nut job by the way.

  62. jk

    loved the movie havent read the book or the blog never heard of julia child before now but now i do and i want her cook book.

    julia childs comment was probably a little hurtful towards julie powell but you get that with older people even though they themselves in there younger days somewhat crazy and more self obsessed but as people get older they become somewhat reserved all i can say is who cares enjoy the damn movie and book and julias amazing impact on the world of cooking and get over it

  63. GiantPant

    As a deprived child, i watched Julia Child, thinking there is no way on gods green earth that i would be able to afford, such ingredients, or the time to actually try or attempt such art in cookery. Only to find out i have been cooking like that all of my life, thanks grandmoma (nanny).
    I just saw the movie and started to read though JP's old blog. To me, it was pain in your face text that showed me a woman's appreciation for good food and her cooking, actually cooking each and every recipe in that book, stunt or not, she actually did it. In turn, a blog to me (bad language included) is not a kin to publishing a book, it is a moment in time that one person jotted down a thought, a gesture, a moment of their feeling.
    I can't talk for old JC, or JP but i can talk for me, it was tolerable and a wise act that brought Miss Child's book back into the forefront of plain and decent cooking.
    So for mrs Powell, good for you, and well done.

  64. I want to congratulate most all of those who have commented — generally, well written and thoughtful, with lots of variety. As for myself, I am sorry that Meryl Streep did not get the Academy Award; and I still love Sandra B. I am in a generation between Julia and Julie, and lived in NYC for five years, whatever that's worth! I love great food, and love people who try to cook it. Remember how little Julia knew at first. Both women approached the subject with passion. We can argue their cultural milieus if you wish. As for me, the movie was superb, and my appreciation for Julia's vivacity has been rekindled. Bon appetite!

  65. Doug

    The movie was amusing.
    I do agree with Child and her friends that it seems a stunt to try to take someone's work and pack it into a year. The year long limitation cheapens the exploration of the book and pulls down the metaphysical relationship Julie seems to tout. I enjoyed the movie but can only imagine I would feel the same way as Julia when it comes to meeting her. The process seems very stunt like and a way of standing on Julia's shoulders.
    I would've preferred a story of a woman writing a blog about her adventures with the cookbook with no time limit. Something more personal, and more about the food than her own limited understanding of Julia Child as a person, and her rush to pack all of those recipes into one year.

  66. Peg

    There are literally thousands upon thousands of blogs out there. I don't think Julie ever thought for a moment that her blog would get much attention at all. Julia, on the other hand, spent years on her book with the sole intention of having it published and "changing the world".
    Julie wrote her diary online, but because she needed a goal-she used the year timeline to do it. She did this for no one but herself.
    To compare the blog and Julie to Julia and her book and letters is ridiculous. Julia was putting her best self forward with lots of help and Julie was simply putting herself forward. All of us are whiny, bratty annoying in our day to day lives.
    I NEVER watched Julia when I was a kid, when I saw her on TV I would change the channel as fast as I could. Now, after reading the blog, the book, seeing the movie, I wish I would have watched Julia when I was younger and have a new respect for her.
    What I came away with was that even at 40, I am not too old to do what I love, even if I only do it for myself.

  67. munkee

    i'm not a republican. this eulogy of julia by julie tells all you need to know about julie. her narcissism isn't subtle.


  68. ruraldog

    I just saw the movie last night - cable airing....I wasn't overly impressed. Hats off to Meryl Streep for her stellar performance. Outside of that, I just didn't think much about the film other than that I wouldn't watch it again. My curiosity was piqued about whether Julie Powell ever met Julia, which is how I ended up on this blog. Took the time to peruse Powell's current blog...not overly impressed. Big difference between setting a personal goal for PERSONAL growth and finding a goal to prattle on about on the Web for the shear sake of publication alone.

  69. Lexie

    I do not think Julie Powell's intentions were for stunt purposes. She was talking about something she enjoyes doing. Making a challenge out of it just made the whole experience more interesting. I can see, after seeing the movie and reading the real blog, the difference in character of Julie. Honestly, I dont think any of us can judge her as a person because HELLO.. we dont know her. Yeah she has a bit of a foul mouth, but i personally found it to be hillarious! And I am a person who enjoys cooking! She was speeking her mind thats all... as did julia did and as we all do right? I can understand why Amy Adams didnt portray her that way though. (ps... i LOVE AMY!!! haha) Anyway, i admire what Julie did... I will always admire Julia and I really enjoyed the movie. As Mr. Forest Gump says... "That's all I have to say about that."

  70. JPM

    Amy Adams and the character were annoying and difficult to take. Julia was an ICON and this should be about her; not some self absorbed girl trying to get attention. This woman was all about one thing; herself. Even in the movie her and her husband agreed to that. Julia Child was a very smart lady and it must have made her insane to read her blog. Julia was about passion in regards to cooking, fun and not being intimidated by food. Julie was about Julie. This movie was a terrible disappointment

  71. JPM

    Lexie I totally disagree; what makes you think she didn't do this for attention. In the movie it said this several times. Of course movies aren't always real, but Meryl Streep was interviewed and she said many times she wanted this to be a real movie. Julie Child and everyone surrounding Julia Child said the same thing; the blog was annoying, more about the Julie character going through issues and trying to cook things while trying to be funny. This is the internet age. The rewarding of mediocrity through reality shows, blogging, and stunts on the internet to gain attention. Julia inspired me and millions of others to cook. Julia changed the world with passion and flare; Julie just annoyed me.

  72. Mary

    Watching the movie Julie and Julia opened up the world of Julia Child to me. I read My Life in France and then on to Julie and Julia. Loved MLIF, tolerated the language in J & J. Julie Powell was redeemed in the movie by Amy Adams. Somehow she didn't seem as vulgar. I do, however, credit Julie Powell for awakening me to the joy of learning about Julia Child. She was a jewel and I will forever love reading and learning more about her and trying her recipes.

  73. Deedee

    Just seen the movie and its hilarious. Props to Julie for finishing 524 recipes in a year, if it were me, I wouldnt have gone through with it after the first several weeks. great effort. and props to Julia for bringing over the french cuisine. and IMHO this isnt the place to choose sides, just enjoy the movie and relax and stop whining and moaning.

  74. Oh my! I wonder if any of the people who posted nasty or negative comments about Julie, her book, her cooking, her tone, etc. have ever done anything even remotely cloe to what she's accomplished!!!

    Something so difficult as commit to cooking (challenging recipes at that) every day for 1 year all while working at a shitty job. It's a feat most people wouldn't even attempt let alone succeed. I admire Julie's perseverance and passion. And the reason her blog got so much attention is because she pushed herself outside of her comfort zone, she gave herself a goal that most thought was crazy or unreacheable, and she found a mentor (Julia) to guide her along the way and motivate her. Sounds like a great recipe for success!

    This story is NOT about Julia Child - it's about one woman's path to self discovery - and it's a shame that others can't see that.

    Julie never set out to get published, to meet Julia, to become famous - she set out to challenge herself and cook some amazing food along the way. It's not an easy thing to do - challenge yourself - so I'd like to challenge you all to reserve some of your harsh remarks and look inside at yourself through he same lens. And step outside of your own comfort zone - you never know what's waiting for you...

    Bon Appetit!

  75. Jackie

    My mother-in-law was in the hospital, a room away from Julia in 2003. She had cooked her way through the book in the 70's, and loved her (fantastic cook). She just waned to say hi, and Julia would have none of it. Julia was just a bitter pill by that time. Maybe it was the illness, maybe it was fame's curse, but she had lost the zest for life and grace had passed, before she had.

    • Nancy R.

      Your mother-in-law didn't get to meet Julia Child as she lay in a hospital bed and you pass judgment? You say she "lost the zest for life and grace had passed"? Please. Just please. I'd like to see how much "zest and grace" you have when you're in a hospital, lying sick in a bed. That is *not* the time to play fan and intrude on somebody. Your mother-in-law was being rude and you're being wholly unfair.

  76. Anoynmous

    Unfortunately for all of you I think the vast MAJORITY including Ms. Child and Ms. Jones missed the point. While Ms. Child if she were living would almost be 100 who of the younger generation 20 and below even know who she is or would even remember her? Ms. Child was able to laugh at Dan Ackroyd's parody of her yet 30 years later she appears to have lost her sense of humor and wit. Julie Powell was 60 years younger than her predecessor. I suggest that while Julia Child was disapointed with Irma that she realize time does not stand still. Julie Powell could have been her great-granddaughter! When Julia Child first penned her work it was intended NOT for serious cooks but to educate the American Housewife (how sexist is that in these days) to the art of French Cusine. Ms. Child died almost 10 years ago with all this being said and McDonalds, Wendys, Pizza Hut being the mainstay of the American Diet I have one thing to say to her Ms. Child be quiet and mind your manners because of Julie Powell hundreds of thousands of children will now know who you are and what you stood for and perhaps try to be the next Julia Child or for that matter Julie Powell. While I am sorry that you have expired the majority of Americans will soon be joining you due to their poor eating habtits and diets. Something that you did not educate the Americans on!

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