It’s 1949 in France. Some men are packing a car while Julia (Meryl Streep) and Paul Child (Stanley Tucci) arrive in Paris. Julia seems enchanted with the streets of Paris when they both arrive at their house and are greeted by a maid.
In 2002 in Queens, Julie (Amy Adams) and Eric Powell (Chris Messina) are riding to their new apartment. Julie asks if Eric is sure the move they’re making is the right thing to do and he says yes and that she’ll love Queens but Julie doesn’t seem to think so. They get to their apartment and let the cat out looking around at everything. Julie seems disappointed by everything in the apartment because it seems dingy and old and is so far out of the city.
Back in Paris, Julia is excited about her and Paul’s new home when Paul asks her if she likes it. She says of course she does because they live in Versailles. They drive around the city but Julia doesn’t seem to be very good at it because she almost hits a few pedestrians. Despite the fact that she’s new at everything and has to adapt to Parisian culture Julia seems to love Paris instantly.
Unfortunately it isn’t the same for Julie. That night in their new place they unpack as she asks why they couldn’t stay in Brooklyn and pay less than where they live now. Eric reminds her that they now have 900 square feet and Julie also remembers its closer to where Eric works and the subway. The next morning Julie heads to work. She rides the train to Manhattan and walks past a memorial for 9/11. She soon arrives at her job as a customer service representative to Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. The people who call in are very rude and talk down to her complaining about the memorial and about how horrible of a corporation they are. One person calls in about her husband’s bad health conditions making Julie cry. She goes to her boss and he tells her to have her customer call another department when Julie argues that she’ll just get an answering machine. He begrudgingly gives her a name and extension and she leaves. Julie comes home from work that night exhausted and depressed making dinner for her and Eric. She talks about how much she hates her job and how awful the people’s situations are that call her. He tells her to hang in there while he watches TV. The next day she tells Eric it’s time for her to head to the dreaded cob salad luncheon. She gets to the restaurant sitting with 3 of her friends that seem to be all about climbing the corporate ladder and constantly talk on their cell phones. They complain about their personal assistants being incompetent until their phones ring and they answer. Julie reaches for a breadstick but her friend on the phone snatches it out of her hand telling her not to eat it. Her other friend is a writer and asks Julie for an interview about her job. Julie agrees to it though her friend seems to be having a hard time fitting her in. Not too long after that Julie’s been humiliated because the article insults her and others about to turn 30 who haven’t made a career for themselves liked they hoped to. Upset she’s talking to her friend Sarah (Mary Lynn Rajskub) outside of a bookstore how the article misquoted her and left a lot of things out that she said. Sarah tries to laugh it off but still feels bad for her since Julie was exploited. At home Julie is cooking and venting about the article to Eric. Eric tells her it was unfair but that she’ll make it through. Julie starts to go off about how the article said she had a promising career as an editor and had written a book but was rejected by the publishers. She also mentions how the article said that she was a temp for 8 years until she was dropped and now works in a cubicle. She’s also even more enraged when she finds out her ‘friend’ also has a blog about her life that’s fairly successful. Eric tells her she could write a blog when they sit down to eat. They come up with a few ideas that don’t go over well until Eric keeps saying what she made them is very good. It then hits Julie that she can write a blog about cooking since she has Julia Child’s cookbook on French cooking and another titled “The Joy of Cooking.” That night they set it up and Julie blogs about how she will cook all of Julia Child’s recipes in a year.
In Paris, Julia and Paul are sitting and eating in a restaurant. She smells the food and seems enthralled in the amount of butter in the fish. She tells Paul she isn’t sure what she wants to do because she doesn’t want to go back into government like she was before. She mentions that she signed up for a hat making class and Paul says that she likes hats and asks her what else she likes. Julia thinks about it and says she likes to eat and they laugh together. Julia goes to her hat making class but seems bored though she makes a nice hat. At the same time her voice narrates as she’s writing a letter to her sister about her life in Paris and her trying to figure out what she wants to do. She says to Paul that she signed up for bridge (card game) lessons but is also bored with that too. She then figures since she likes to eat that she’ll sign up for a cooking class. But when she arrives, the teacher, Madame Brassart (Joan Juliet Buck) is only teaching simple things such as how to boil an egg. Julia approaches her and says she was looking for something more challenging. Madame Brassart says Julia’s not a professional but Julia argues that she knows simple things such as how to boil an egg. Madame Brassart says there is a cooking school but it would be too hard for Julia because it’s about serious cooking and all of her classmates would be males. It doesn’t seem to bother Julia so she decides to show up for her first culinary class late. The chef greets her while the other men look at her oddly because she’s the only woman. During class the men chop onions very quickly while Julia struggles to finish. The teacher comes and tells her how to hold the knife and other techniques to get it done. At home, Julia chops a ton of onions on the counter in the kitchen that stack very high as she practices. Paul comes upstairs to see what’s going on but immediately turns away because the amount of onions is so potent he has to take off his glasses because the onions are making him cry. He asks what she’s doing and Julia cries because she’s so close to the onions that she needs practice and keeps chopping them constantly. Paul leaves as Julia goes back to chopping. Her voice then narrates to her pen pal Ernestine about her culinary class and how she’s improving. She says the other men treat her indifferently because she’s a woman until they see how talented she is and because she’s fearless. Madame Brassart comes to watch the class and seems annoyed that the teacher is so impressed by Julia and that she’s doing so well. Julia also mentions that her dad hates the idea of her going to culinary school and wants to send money to hire a chef. At the same time Paul writes to his twin brother Charlie about Julia and how happy she is. He’s impressed with the fact that she’s done so well at cooking and says that if he didn’t go into the kitchen he’d never see Julia. For her birthday they all go out to dinner and he gives her a cooking supply and she’s excited. On Valentine’s Day he gives her a grater and they have friends over for dinner. They talk about how they met saying Paul made plans for the U.S. Army his friends seem impressed that he made plans that won the war. Paul tries to talk it down but Julia says he did make those plans and that’s how they met because Julia was a secretary in the office in China. Paul then makes a toast to Julia about how much he loves her and they all toast at the table.
At the same time Julie is reading the memoir by Julia Child about the letters her husband wrote and other things about her life. Her and Eric sit and watch an episode of Julia Child’s cooking show impressed with how she doesn’t take things so seriously and enjoying her style at the same time. Julie has begun cooking the recipes out of the book. Some of them seem easy other while others are very difficult. Her voice narrates as she writes the blog and cooks the recipes while Sarah and Eric try to help her out. Eric seems a little skeptical about her doing this since a lot of the recipes require eggs and she’s never had an egg before and she has no comments on her blog. As she narrates, she talks about one night why she decided to keep her blog going because of her mother. Her mother calls her from Texas wondering why she would want to have a cooking blog. Julie says that she needs to finish something and that this goal means something to her. Her mother tells her it’s ok to not finish some goals and that it will be ok. Julie says no she’s determined to finish this project. Her mother still doesn’t agree with her but lets her know that she’ll support her. For her next recipe Julie tries to poach an egg but is very unsuccessful the first few tries. Soon Sarah and Eric come in the kitchen to try and help her and finally get it done. Julie sits and eats the egg and instantly loves it saying Julia changed her perspective on eggs. Afterward, Julie is cooking a series of hard recipes and going to specialty markets to get the ingredients. Her hardest so far is a lobster meal that she has to kill a lobster in order to make. It jumps in the back of the car while Eric keeps mocking her and singing lobster killer. At home she starts the pot and apologizes to the lobsters as she stuffs them in the pot as it steams. Things go well until one fights to get out and the lid pops open. Julie screams and runs off when Eric runs in to stuff them back in the pot. He seems a little freaked out but still sings lobster killer to her. At work she reads her blog and gets excited about a comment. She peeks over into her co-worker’s cubicle telling her she has a comment. But when she opens it, it’s just a comment from her mom saying she still doesn’t know why she’s keeping the blog and cooking up but that she’s still reading every night she gets home.
At a party, Julia goes into the powder room talking to a friend of hers about culinary school and how much she loves it but hates that Madame Brassart won’t let her take her test to get her degree. Her friend then introduces her 2 other women, Simone Beck (Linda Emond) and Louisette Bertholle (Helen Carey). They both teach cooking. They tell Julia that she doesn’t need to finish if she decides to join them and Julia says she will finish and get her degree. They all walk back to the party room and tell Julia to say to Madame Brassart that if she doesn’t let Julia take the final test then the American ambassador will be very disappointed in her because he happens to be at the same party. Julia says she could never lie but Simone and Louisette come up with an idea to get Julia to talk to him. Brassart caves in and lets her take the test but gives Julia an almost impossible recipe to complete and Julia fails. Upset she tells Simone and Louisette about how Brassart tried to throw her off. She gets another chance and passes with the other recipe given to her and now has her degree. She then writes to her sister again about how she now teaches American students how to master French cooking. She talks about how things are going well except Louisette seems to always have a headache or has an appointment as soon as class starts. At the train station, she and Paul are walking to the platform as they wait for her sister. Paul sees her and Dorothy (Jane Lynch) runs to Julia for a hug. At lunch, Julia and Paul tell Dorothy how they have a guy for her to meet that’s even taller than her because she’s so tall. She seems excited and mentions how if their dad had got his way they would’ve married republicans and bred like rabbits. They all laugh and mention how their dad likes Senator McCarthy. Paul can’t stand him because of his suspicions of random people, him included, of being communists. They tell Paul not to discuss politics to their dad though he seems not to be listening. At a party the man they want Dorothy to meet arrives and seems interested to meet her. He mentions that she’s talking to a much shorter man in the corner though Paul seems doubtful that she’ll run off in the sunset with him. But it’s obvious the more time they spend together the more they flirt. Soon, Dorothy and the short guy are getting married. At the wedding they dance while Julia and Paul are sitting at the table eating with Julia’s parents. Julia thanks her dad for the wedding when he asks about their life in Paris. Paul mentions that McCarthy’s hand has stretched too far and has affected Paul’s job status and where they’ll get to stay. Julia kicks him since she told him not to discuss politics with her father. Her father says he likes McCarthy and all that he’s done when Julia gets upset and starts to argue with him. Paul decides to end the argument and asks Julia to dance with him. Later, Julia gets a letter from Dorothy and looks surprised reading it. Paul asks her what it is and she tells Paul that Dorothy’s pregnant. Julia starts crying saying she’s happy for her but seems the opposite while Paul hugs and comforts her. One afternoon Simone and Louisette invite Julia to lunch. They ask her if she would be interested in writing a book about French recipes for Americans without servants like they have in France. She seems excited about the idea and goes home to tell Paul. Paul lets her know that there’s a possibility that they won’t be able to stay in Paris because McCarthy looks down upon them because of the time spent in China making them look like communists. Julia then says that she’ll send the recipes and ideas to Simone and Louisette even though it will talk longer for her to get the book done.
At her birthday party, Julie is diligently cooking one of the recipes while Eric sets up their apartment for her party. Their friends arrive as they wish Julie a happy birthday and congratulate her on turning 30. They sit to eat dinner and Eric makes a toast to Julie saying he’s proud of her persistence and that he loves her. They all give a toast and sit around and talk. Later in the process, Julie is having trouble with one of the recipes. She narrates in her blog that she’s having a meltdown because things aren’t working out for her. She then falls to the floor crying while Eric asks her if she’s ok when the phone rings. He answers it and it’s a newspaper asking for her. She’s on the floor crying and having a fit when he asks her if she’d like to talk to them. She pulls herself together and answers the phone. They are interested in coming to her apartment and having dinner with her and the original publisher of “The Joy of Cooking.” Julie immediately accepts the opportunity and prepares the meal. She narrates to her fellow readers that since the woman is older she will prepare the meal the night before she arrives, knowing that she won’t want to stay late or wait for her meal. She sets the pot in the stove and sits watching an old episode of ‘Saturday Night Live’ playing a skit of Dan Akroyd playing Julia Child. Julie and Eric laugh as the skit plays having Julia cut herself and blood spews everywhere. Later that night, Eric is asleep in bed while Julie dozes off on the couch. The alarm goes off for Julie to take the pot out of the stove but she ignores it and keeps sleeping. Her cat meows and runs to the kitchen waking Julie up. In a panic she runs to the kitchen and opens the stove. Unfortunately her waiting too long burned the dish and she has to start from scratch. That Monday, Julie blogs that she has stomach flu so she won’t get caught skipping work and says later she got up and re-did the recipe. She goes to the market again getting all the ingredients and finishes everything the following day in enough time for the newspaper and the publisher. It begins to rain that night and the phone rings. Julie answers and it’s both the newspaper and the publisher canceling because of the rain saying the publisher is now an older woman and lives all the way in Long Island. Upset Julie feels defeated because she wasted so much time. Eric tries to cheer her up and sits to eat but gets up right away to add salt to it. Julie asks if it’s bland and he says not anymore making her even more upset that she almost served a bland meal to the publisher. Eric tells her to look on the bright side but she stops him because she’s so frustrated that things aren’t working out. They get into a fight and Eric leaves her all alone. She blogs about the fiasco with everything except the fight and decides to take the dessert into work when the dessert falls out of the bag all over the ground. She sits at her cubicle and sees she has a lot of comments on her blog and tells her co-worker again when her boss calls her into the office. Her co-worker promises that she never told anyone about the blog when Julie walks to his office. He tells her he knows about the blog because he found it and mentions her stomach flu. He says he doesn’t want his name or anything about the company mentioned and tells her if she calls out sick again somebody else can take her job. He passive aggressively says that he could’ve fired her and made it worse but says he’s a nice guy even though he clearly isn’t. Julie goes home alone another night without Eric and blogs about how she’s nothing like Julia Child because she appreciated her husband and didn’t have meltdowns like her. She later calls Eric at work and leaves him a message saying she misses him and wants him to come back. He hears it but doesn’t answer and goes back to work. He later reads her blog and feels bad for not answering the phone because it makes him feel more appreciated. The next night Julie’s at a bar with Sarah talking about how Eric ran off while Sarah tells her that she broke up with her boyfriend making Julie feel bad that she didn’t ask. Sarah says it’s ok and Julie asks if she’s a bitch that makes everything about her. Sarah says yes she is but she’s still a good person and assures her that the whole fight will blow over. Julie comes home from the bar and Eric shows up in front of the apartment. She asks if he’s back and he asks what’s for dinner. Relieved she hugs him and they go inside.
Julia and Paul have been moved to another part of France because Paul was right they weren’t going to get to stay. She’s writing this letter to her pen pal Ernestine about how she hates that’s she’s not in Paris anymore but is still sending recipe ideas to Simone and Louisette in order to get published. She and Paul take pictures to use as postcards to send to their friends each holiday and then they’re moved again to Oslo. She’s also unhappy about this because things aren’t as pleasant. She still steadily sends the ideas to her colleagues in hopes that the book will be published. Soon Paul is being called to Washington, D.C. and he seems uneasy about it. Julia tries to cheer him up and tells him maybe they’ll be putting them back in Paris like they wanted but Paul seems doubtful. Julia still tries to excite him about the trip and Paul tells her she’s right there’s a chance that he might get to go back to Paris. Julia writes to Ernestine that Paul went through interrogation for 3 days asking him all kinds of questions, McCarthyism. They finally let him go but now he’s been exonerated and will be stationed in one more location and then he’ll have to retire and doesn’t know what he’ll do next. Julia tries to cheer him up saying that things will be ok. The next day Julia sends a recipe to Ernestine and tells her not to let anyone know about it so she won’t get exploited. Soon after, Julia and Simone are in Paris still trying to put the book together when Louisette wants them to meet a woman who did try to get her cookbook published. They arrive at Irma Rombauer’s home and she tells them she paid the publishers for her book. They laughed at her telling her it wouldn’t do well and shamed her. A few years later the book was published and sold making a lot of money. They ask her if they paid her but instead they didn’t give her a dime and have changed a lot about her book since then. Now they’re all having second thoughts. When Julia gets home she gets a letter from Ernestine telling her she shared the recipe with a publishing company making Julia uneasy. She then gets to the part where the publishers want to give all three of them a $250 advance and once it’s published they get $500. Her and Paul get excited and celebrate. The next day Julia tells Simone and says that her and Julia have to put their feet down and tell Louisette that she won’t be a part of the book because she hasn’t done anything. They all meet for lunch and Julia tells her that even though it’s been a pleasure working with her they won’t include her and aren’t going to split the shares with her. Louisette decides to pull the divorce card and tells them her husband is leaving her after 20 years. Julia feels bad and tries to retract what she said but Simone attacks her saying it’s not going to work and they aren’t going to include her name even saying she’ll only get 10%. They argue until they agree that she’ll get 15% and her name will still be included as an author. Afterwards Simone walks off angrily that Louisette did nothing to help but Julia calms her down. Next the 2 are on the way to the publishers meeting when Julia says they should know who Ernestine is by what she’s wearing. Simone seems surprised that Julia doesn’t know what her pen pal looks like but Julia explains they never met they just write because Ernestine’s husband wrote a book about using knives. Impressed, Julia wrote him about his book and his wife was so interested in her letter she continued writing to her about cooking. Soon, Ernestine meets them at the train station in Boston and she gets them to the publishers’ office. The publishers tell the 2 they like the book but want them to change it since it only talks about sauces and chicken and it’s too long. Julia and Simone mention they can write the series in volumes but they don’t seem to agree. Defeated, the 2 are sitting in Ernestine’s home upset that things didn’t pan out. Ernestine is also upset and tells them to keep the advance and the extra $500 because she thought the book was a great idea. Back in Europe, Julia and Paul are packing again for their next move. She’s also packing another book for another publishing company to read. Paul wishes her good luck as he helps her send it away.
Julie is hurrying about in her apartment getting things ready for an editor from the New York Times. The editor arrives with the photographer as they chat about Julia Child being her inspiration. Impressed, the editor and photographer stay a little longer and eat more of her food. Eric also mentions that Julie’s blog will be mentioned at Julia Child’s history post at the Smithsonian Museum. Shortly after, Julie’s article is in the New York Times where people everywhere are reading it. While she’s in line on her lunch break, her and her co-worker see people reading it and get excited. That night, she gets a ton of messages on the answering machine from different newspapers wanting to write articles about her and publishing companies wanting her to write a book. She also gets calls from literary agents to represent her. Later as Julie’s about to go to bed, a reporter calls her asking for a comment on something Julia Child said at her 90th birthday party about Julie’s blog. Julie runs to the phone and looks shocked as the reporter talks to her. She says she has no comment and hangs up. Eric asks her what’s wrong and she tells him Julia hates her.
Disappointed, Julia tells Paul the publishers hate her book. After 8 long years of working so hard it seems to be all in vain. Paul tells her not to give up and that they’ll be ok. He tells her she can teach or be on TV but she still seems doubtful. Another publishing company receives the book sent from the one that rejected it. The publisher begins to read the book hating the title but seems intrigued by the recipes. She goes home and attempts to cook them and is impressed. Julia and Paul are now in Cambridge, Massachusetts moving all their things in when the mail comes. Julia opens it and sees one from a publishing company. She opens the letter and reads it screaming Paul’s name. He asks her what’s going and she tells him the publisher loved her book as well as other publishers who tried her recipes and want to sell her book. They celebrate and Julia is soon having a meeting with the publisher. She tells her everything is fine she just needs to change the title. They agree on “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”
Unable to sleep, Julie and Eric try to reason why Julia Child hates her blog so much. Julie tells him Julia said she wasn’t serious about cooking even though she was clearly dedicated and very serious about getting everything done. Julie realizes that she’ll never get to meet Julia and that her role model is now ruined. Eric tells her she still has the Julia Child in her mind that she created and will just have to live with that. Julie takes it all in stride and is soon about to complete the last recipe where she has to de-bone a duck. Terrified she watches Julia Child on TV do it saying don’t be afraid giving Julie the courage to finish it out. Julie successfully finishes and has all of her friends over to celebrate her last meal being completed. On the rooftop, they all sit at the table and Julie proposes a toast to Eric for being there for her through the good and bad. She tells Eric how much she loves him and they all toast to him. Later Julie and Eric arrive at the Smithsonian and go read Julia Child’s history taking pictures. As a dedication, Julie leaves a huge stick of butter under her picture, since she cooked with a lot of it in every recipe, and leaves. In the museum, the old kitchen where Julia and Paul ate in is copied exactly as it was in the past.
Julia and Paul are in the same kitchen as she cooks and he gets a package in the mail. Julia opens it and ecstatically screams because her book is officially in publication and now she has an original copy. The movie end with the 2 in a still shot.
The caption at the end says that Paul Child died in 1992 and Julia Child died in 2004. In 2005 Julie Powell’s book “Julie and Julia” was published. Julie and her husband Eric Powell still live in Queens but in a nicer apartment that’s not over a pizzeria.
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
Brought to you by
In the 1950s, Julia Child is a bored housewife who loves her husband, Paul (Stanley Tucci), and follows him wherever his government job takes him. Their most recent move is to the American embassy in Paris. With the total support of her adoring husband, Julia decides to enroll in a French cooking school and ends up becoming an excellent French chef and baker.
Julia ends up collaborating with two French women in writing a cookbook that is later published in the United States under the name *Mastering the Art of French Cooking*. It becomes a huge success.
About 50 years later, it is the year 2002, and Julie Powell and her husband, Eric (Chris Messina), move into a small studio apartment above a pizzeria in Queens, N.Y.
Julie is so depressed by her job she deals with phone calls from people complaining about 9/11 issues that she decides to start a blog. Every day, for one year, she will create a recipe or two from Julia Child's cookbook and write about it online.
Her reader base begins to grow, slowly but surely, until she eventually receives a request from the *New York Times* to do a piece on her. Once the story hits the stands, Julie is inundated with requests for interviews from all types of media from around the world, including a book and movie deal.
As her project is nearing the end of its 365 days, it is almost derailed by the news that Julia Child herself *hates* the blog! Julie is devastated, but pulls herself back together with the support of her husband. Julie finishes her year-long blog by successfully boning a duck (her final recipe) and serving it to her close friends at a finale dinner party.
In the end, she never does get to meet her idol, but Julie and her husband do visit the Julia Child display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. It is a farewell gift to herself as a treat for successfully completing the blog and for her transformation into a woman with a purpose.
You can send in your spoiler to other movies by going here.