Meryl Streep Julie and Julia


Meryl Streep Julie and Julia

Julie and Julia

Cast: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Jane Lynch
Director: Nora Ephron
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rated: PG
Running Time: 123 minutes

Synopsis: Meryl Streep is Julia Child and Amy Adams is writer Julie Powell in Nora Ephron's comedy Julie & Julia.

Before Ina, before Rachael, before Emeril, there was Julia, the woman who forever changed the way America cooks. But in 1948, Julia Child (Meryl Streep) was just an American woman living in France. Her husband's job has brought them to Paris, and with her indefatigable spirit, she yearned for something to do.

Fifty years later, Julie Powell (Amy Adams) is stuck. Pushing 30, living in Queens and working in a cubicle as her friends achieve stunning successes, she seizes on a seemingly insane plan to focus her energies. Julie decides to spend exactly a year cooking all 524 recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (which Child co-wrote with Louise Bertholle and Simone Beck) - and write a blog about herexperiences.

Director-writer-producer Nora Ephron seamlessly melds these two remarkable true stories into a comedy that proves that if you have the right combination of passion, obsession, and butter, you can change your life and achieve your dreams.

Release Date: October 8th, 2009
Website: www.JulieAndJulia.com.au

About The Film
"It's about love, it's about marriage, it's about changing your life," says Nora Ephron of the themes that motivated her to make Julie & Julia. "I'm obsessed with food, but there were at least eight other reasons why I had to do it, like doing things you care about and finding happiness through that."

"What unites these two stories is passion," says producer Laurence Mark. "Julie Powell and Julia Child both discovered a passion - in each case, a passion for food - that got them through tough or uncertain times. The movie is also about marriage - how it's a delicate balancing act. Julie and Julia have both somehow figured this out, and no matter the ups and downs, they're crazy about their spouses and their spouses are crazy about them."

The film takes the remarkable approach of adapting and interweaving two celebrated memoirs: Julie & Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme. My Life in France is Child's own story of her years in post-World War II Paris as the wife of American foreign-service employee Paul Child, when she was able to turn her ardor for French cooking into a dedicated mission to spread its pleasures to American households. After becoming the first American woman to study at the famous Cordon Bleu cooking school, she popularised French cuisine in America by co-writing the English-language cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The book's popularity led to a cooking show career that made her a household name in the United States. More than anyone else, Child steered American eaters away from the canned, the frozen and the processed and into food that was fresh, flavorful and made with unbridled joy, a wonderful metaphor for approaching life.

"When you talk about passion, Julia Child didn't just have it for her husband or cooking, she had a passion for living," says Meryl Streep. "Real, true joie de vivre. She loved being alive, and that's inspirational in and of itself."

A half-century later, in 2002, New Yorker Julie Powell was nearing 30, dissatisfied as a writer, and facing an emotionally depleting day job working for an organisation devoted to rebuilding the World Trade Center site after 9/11 and helping displaced residents resettle. Spurred to change her life, she decided to cook her way through Julia Child's masterpiece - 524 recipes in 365 days - and chronicle her efforts in a blog. With the encouragement of her husband Eric- who was happy to devour the fruits of her labors-Julie began detailing the ups and downs of her time-consuming project.

Today, blogging is part of the fabric of our lives, but in 2002, Julie Powell was a blogging pioneer. Laurence Mark says, "I think at the outset of this endeavor, Julie may not have realised just how ambitious it actually was. But since she was clearly getting a kick out of it, and the results were so delicious, it all became somewhat more manageable."

Julie Powell's writings became so popular that, like Julia Child, she got her own culinary adventure published: Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously was released by Little, Brown in 2005. But before Julie Powell even had a book deal, producer Eric Steel had taken notice of her, including in a New York Times profile written by food writer Amanda Hesser. "Julie Powell was really one of the first bloggers to sort of break out of the tiny orbit that some of these people live in," Eric Steel explains. "She had a real audience. By the time I found her, she had thousands of people reading her blog every day."

At the same time producer Amy Robinson was looking to turn the love story of Julia Child and Paul Child into a movie. Hearing about Eric Steel's option on the rights to Julie Powell's story, Amy Robinson proposed the two combine their narratives. "I thought, 'You can combine these two things, these two marriages, these two women looking to find who they are,'" says Amy Robinson.

The project attracted the interest of writer/director Nora Ephron, with her witty sensibility and interest in food as it relates to life, and producer Laurence Mark and executive producer Scott Rudin came on board to shepherd the project.

"As soon as I heard the idea, I thought, 'Oh, I have to do that,'" says Nora Ephron. "In 1962 or so, when I first moved to New York, everybody was buying a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking - it was a way of saying you were intelligent and therefore you were going to cook in a way that a smart person was going to cook. So Julia Child became an imaginary friend for me and for the millions of women who bought this cookbook, and, years later, I think the same thing was true for Julie Powell."

"When I started, I never expected that I'd have a book, or that book would be optioned, or that Nora Ephron would become attached to write and direct the movie, or that Meryl Streep and Amy Adams would be in it," says Julie Powell. "They've made a beautiful movie, a movie about marriage, and being brave, and creating yourself. This has all been an amazing experience."

Casting the Right Ingredients
"Both stories were going to be about marriage and food, two things that certainly go together in most people's lives," says Nora Ephron. "When you're in the romantic comedy business, the movie ends when people say 'Will you marry me?' It's very rare to find something about what happens next, where you've got two equally smart people in a relationship who adore each other. It's one of the reasons I think Meryl Streep was completely drawn to the movie."

It's no surprise that the Academy Award®-winning Meryl Streep was the logical choice to play Julia Child. Nora Ephron was inspired to cast Meryl Streep after running into the actress at a Shakespeare in the Park performance. Meryl Streep asked what Nora Ephron was working on, Nora Ephron replied, and Meryl Streep immediately went into her Julia Child impression: "Bon Appétit!" Before it even began, the casting search was over.

After she was sent the script, Meryl Streep read it and says she called Nora Ephron immediately. "I thought it was absolutely beautiful," Meryl Streep recalls. "It made me cry, the idea that what you put in front of your family, that love, those connections between people, are the real important things." As for who she was being asked to play, what galvanised the accomplished actress was Julia Child's approach to life. "Her approach to her day was one of energy and appetite and a blanket determination not to let troubles get you down. It's a great quality and she really had it."

"When we first meet her, she and her husband Paul are living in Paris where they've been posted after the Second World War, trying to promote all good things American since he worked for the diplomatic corps," says Meryl Streep. "She was very bright, but the expectations for women at that point were not necessarily to have a career and find their life's work. But Julia Child was someone who had a relentless appetite and curiosity for all sorts of things, and the food that was made in American kitchens was not that inspired. She was always sort of a gourmand, but when they went to Paris they discovered food as an art form - not merely something we need for nourishment. So she went to the Cordon Bleu and learned cooking from the ground up, just took to it with relentless curiosity and invention."

Julia Child was famous, and because of her height (6'2") and odd, high-pitched voice, she was a subject often impersonated - most famously by Dan Aykroyd on "Saturday Night Live" - but Meryl Streep found a way to avoid caricature in her portrayal. "My out is that I'm not really 'doing' Julia Child, I'm Julie Powell's idea of who she was," says Meryl Streep. "So while I felt a responsibility to her memory and the legacy of the great work she did, and to the essence of her character, I didn't feel I was replicating her."

"Meryl Streep made it possible to make this movie," says Laurence Mark. "She has an uncanny ability to suggest Julia Child and to imbue the character with the spirit of Julia Child, but it's not any sort of impersonation. It's a beautiful, beautiful portrayal."

When it came to casting Julie Powell, Nora Ephron wanted an actress who could embody a young woman's insecurities and emotional blow-ups. She knew Amy Adams was up to the task, but she also met another major requirement for the writer/director.

"Among the many things I liked about her was that I believed that she was smart enough to be a writer," says Nora Ephron. "And she's funny."

Amy Adams found plenty in the character of Julie Powell that spoke to her. "It's right after 9/11, she's turning thirty, and she's confused in her life," Amy Adams explains.

"She's really come to a crossroads, and she's trying to make decisions. That was something I was very familiar with, and I don't think it's reflected very often in films in an honest way. For a more modern woman, there are some very allencompassing questions, and I thought this character really embodied that journey and that confusion."

"Amy Adams is one of my favorite actors I've ever worked with," says co-star Chris Messina. "She's completely present and in the moment and you can throw her any curve and she'll go with it, throw something right back at you. She's a really smart woman and knows a lot about film. So I learned a lot from working with her."

Integral to the story of Julie & Julia is the support each woman received from their husbands. "It's about partnerships and how you can support each other in good times and bad," says Meryl Streep, who suggested to Nora Ephron her The Devil Wears Prada co-star Stanley Tucci play the part of her onscreen husband Paul Child, the man who opened Julia Child's eyes to the world of art, food and travel, nurtured her through the writing of her book, and ultimately cherished her rising popularity.

"Paul Child was this sort of Renaissance guy," says Stanley Tucci, "and he was selftaught. He never went to college. But he was a voracious reader and he was self-educated. He was ten years older than Julia Child, and he encouraged her. Julia Child came from this sort of rarefied, upper-class background-she grew up in Pasadena and she didn't know a lot about the world. Paul Child ended up sort of taking her under his wing and teaching her a great deal. Early on, Julia Child didn't really know what she wanted to do, and, of course, many women weren't supposed to do anything at that time. They were supposed to get married to a nice guy and have babies. But Paul Child and Julia Child didn't have babies. They couldn't have babies. So Julia Child wanted to do something, she settled on cooking and he encouraged her - always encouraged her. He adored her and she adored him."

Meryl Streep says Stanley Tucci's contribution to the movie's portrayal of a strong marriage was essential. "Stanley Tucci brings this indescribable thing, which is the substance of a man - his gravitas, his love, his three-dimensional despair when he was called back to Washington, humiliated. That's all invaluable to our film because their marriage is a marriage of equals, and you feel the mutual regard that isn't just romantic love, but also respect."

As for who should play Julie Powell's supportive husband Eric Powell, an archaeology magazine editor who becomes his wife's primary taster on her epic kitchen journey, Nora Ephron chose Chris Messina, who indelibly portrayed Lauren Ambrose's last boyfriend during the final season of the acclaimed HBO series Six Feet Under.

"Eric Powell helps Julie Powell find direction by listening and really being in tune to what she needs," says Chris Messina. "When she starts talking about Julia Child and cooking, it's the first time you see her character almost at peace. He picks up on that and starts improvising with her, on how they can make the project a reality."

Aside from the charm and lovability that Chris Messina projects, not to mention the chemistry he shares with Amy Adams, there were other factors that made him ideal casting for the role of Eric Powell. According to Laurence Mark, "Chris Messina somehow rather deftly manages to bring a distinct New York sensibility to this couple. He's also so wonderfully appealing that it's easy to see why Julie Powell is smitten with him and energised by him."

Then there was the little matter of eating. The character of Eric Powell spends much of his screen time gorging on the French recipes Julie Powell cooks up for him. The film needed someone who enjoyed eating, knew how to convey to audiences the pleasure of eating, could talk and eat at the same time the way people do in real life, and on top of that simply look good chewing a mouthful of Lobster Thermidor. Chris Messina brought all of this to the job. "I know that sounds so crazy to say, but Mr. Messina is a brilliant eater," says Amy Adams. "I don't know how he does it. He eats like a man, yet he doesn't make it look grotesque. It's a talent."

"After a day of lots of eating, I started to complain. Nora Ephron yelled from the other room, 'Robert De Niro would do it!' - and that got me back in there and focused for another seven lobsters."

Husbands weren't the only source of support for the women in Julie & Julia. When Julia Child's even taller sister Dorothy McWilliams visited Julia Child in Paris and fell in love with an ex-pat actor there, it seemed to confirm everything passionate and liberating about the city she loved. To play Dorothy McWilliams, Nora Ephron cast the incomparable Jane Lynch. Julia Child's sister's wedding to Ivan Cousins under the reproachful eye of her and Julia Child's Republican father is a key scene in the movie.

"Julia Child and Dorothy McWilliams come from a liberal, joyful, exuberant mother and a father who was very stern and rather conservative," says Jane Lynch. "He was not really thrilled with this match, and he wasn't a big fan of Julia Child's marriage to Paul Child. He wanted his daughters to marry Republican bankers, basically. But here they were with these arty, liberal guys."

Meanwhile in the contemporary scenes, Julie Powell finds added support in her culinary mission from best friend Sarah, played by comedienne and "24" actress Mary Lynn Rajskub. "Julie Powell has friends who are stuck up and more successful and like to rub their success in her face," says Mary Lynn Rajskub. "But Sarah's relationship with Julie Child is more down-to-earth. She helps keep her grounded, calming her down and showing up to eat her food. When I read the script I was very excited, because it's very women-centric, about food, relationships and emotional troubles, which are a lot of my favorite things."

All the actors agreed that Nora Ephron's screenplay got at something elemental about the soul-edifying and appetite-satisfying journey of these two women. On set, she took to bringing the script to life with plenty of passion and grit herself. "She has such a personal attachment to these characters," says Amy Adams. "She really fights for them, so whenever I was stuck with something, I could always turn to her.

Nora Ephron is also one of the best people to go out to dinner with, because she knows exactly what to order so you get a wonderful dining experience!"

Meryl Streep is in awe of Nora Ephron's ability to weave humor into her movie's themes. "Her deftness as a writer is a great gift, how secretly she sneaks in what she's talking about," says Meryl Streep. "There's subtlety in the humor, so that the film is very, very funny but it doesn't set out to have any jokes. You laugh with these people, but you feel for them as well, and it's a great thing she was able to do."

Clothing: A Tall Order
Creating the world of Julie & Julia meant in effect bringing to life two separate movies: one relatively contemporary, the other a period piece taking place fifty years ago. For the Julia Child segments, Academy Award®-winning costume designer Ann Roth -- who has worked many times with Meryl Streep on such films as Doubt, The Hours, and Mamma Mia! -- found herself re-creating an era with which she was very familiar, having lived through it herself. "The life of Julia Child was something I know a lot about," she says, "and I know what people wore at that time. I knew what the girdle was, and the glove and the hat, and when you wore a hat and when you wore a glove, and how many sweaters you had and how many cashmere sweaters you didn't have. It's a life that I knew very well. I mean, I was in school in the '50s. So I felt pretty secure in that period."

Ann Roth had previously called upon her memories and research for her Academy Award®-nominated costume designs for The Talented Mr. Ripley, which took place in the same period.

Asked to describe Julia Child's style, she laughs. "I don't think she was hooked on fashion! I would describe it as captain of the hockey team," says Ann Roth. "She was a hardy girl who was six-foot-two. You don't walk into any store and find skirts and shirts that size. It must have been very, very difficult to dress her. I assume that she -her family, her mother--probably went to Bullock's Pasadena and had a lady there who sent her clothes to school for her, you know, as was done at that time."

The memory most people have of Julia Child's attire is from the way she dressed on her television show, that iconic three-quarter-sleeve cotton shirt and denim apron. However, those shirts are impossible to find now. Contemporary fabrics have Lycra in them so that they will fit closer to the body; in addition, the darts and the collar in such tops are designed differently. Ann Roth had to have Julia Child's shirts specially made in order to faithfully re-create her TV look. For the scenes taking place in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Julia would be garbed in proper "lady" clothes of the era- quality suits, hats, and, of course, embroidered monograms on blouses and pajamas. "She wore stockings with seams," says Ann Roth, "but she was also a girl who would play badminton in the garden in her shorts and bare legs."

Julia Child towered over most people in her presence. A primary challenge for Ann Roth was creating and maintaining the illusion of great height for Meryl Steep. "You can't keep saying, 'Well, we'll just hire four-foot or five-foot people and put her on an apple box.' So we made four or five pair of experimental shoes, and I thought they would be difficult to walk in, to act in. But it turned out that they worked quite well. All the fittings for Julia Child were done with that height, with that length of leg. We cheated on where the waistline was, we cheated all over the place, and we made a figure that was what I saw as Julia Child. And then, of course, her husband was this perfect smaller person. A very dapper one. His suits were made for him. As were his father's, as were his father's fathers and his uncles--he came from that kind of family. Not that he was rich; he was never rich, but he was spiffy."

Production Design: Everything and the Kitchen Sink
While Ann Roth was researching costumes, production designer Mark Ricker and his crew took over two huge stages at Silvercup East Studios, across the East River from Manhattan, to build a whole series of kitchen sets-some eleven in all, most of which were period kitchens from the mid-20th century for the Julia Child scenes. "All had to be functional, working kitchens," says Mark Ricker "And they had to have every implement that you could possibly imagine for Meryl Streep, for Nora Ephron, for Amy Adams. It all had to be there. So it wasn't just the presentation of the food, it was the implementation of the food. And it informed everything that we did, and it just had to be great. I think Nora used the word 'pornographic' at one point to describe the level of what the food should be in this film, so we all knew the food was going to be a major element in determining what the look of the film would be."

The first kitchen to be completed, however, was the Julie Powells', as the "Julie" part of the film would be shot first, with the "Julia" section to follow during the latter half of the production schedule. Mark Ricker was able to visit the actual apartment on Jackson Avenue in Long Island City where Julie Powell and Eric had lived, and recreated it at Silvercup East. "I was thrilled to find out that there was a tin detail in her apartment that had a fleur de lis repeated throughout" - fleur de lis being the motif on the famous Child cookbook - "all the way up the staircase. We went to the apartment and took a mold of that and incorporated it into Julie Child's apartment set that we built on stage."

Mark Ricker says that what they built at Silvercup East was pretty close to the square footage of the Julie Powells' real place. "It wasn't a tiny space that they lived in," he says. "It was scripted as nine hundred square feet and that's about what we built, and I think that's about what she lived in. The basic through-flow of the apartment was pretty accurate. It was essentially one big room, with an 'L' off one side. The kitchen was in the middle, as we did it. Hers was actually a little bit bigger than the one that we built, but you could see how it would have been difficult for her to get through this cookbook, squirreled away in the kitchen that she had - you know, one sink, one stove and one small refrigerator."

Julie Powell's climactic rooftop feast for her friends was filmed on a balmy late spring night in Long Island City. The atmosphere was appropriately celebratory; it was nearing the end of Amy Adams's and Chris Messina's filming, with the Meryl Streep-Stanley Tucci part of the movie set to begin shooting the following week.

"That was a really magical moment," Amy Adams remembers. "and there was just an overall sense of peace and happiness with the whole crew that evening. I took several mental photographs of that evening, because it was just beautiful. There we were all up on a rooftop and there was a real sense of community. And I think that's what's great about New York in late spring when everybody comes out of their hibernation and there's such a sense of community. You really had that feeling."

Food, Glorious Food
"We hope you leave this movie wanting something to eat," says producer says producer Laurence Mark.

With such a delectable subject as French cuisine, the filming of Julie & Julia was marked by the constant presence of food. So many scenes involved food preparation and consumption that matters of quality and authenticity were paramount. This was the domain of culinary consultant Susan Spungen and executive chef Colin Flynn, both of whom brought years of experience in restaurant work and food journalism to this unusual temporary job. Susan Spungen had served as the founding editorial director for food and entertaining at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and launched Everyday Food, the company's first allfood title. Susan Spungen also authored two cookbooks, one with Martha Stewart, and currently writes about food for several publications. Chef Flynn graduated from the French Culinary Institute before taking on positions at the prestigious Manhattan restaurants Bayard and Zoe; he eventually became sous-chef at Alison on Dominick. Their work on Julie & Julia required them to prepare all the food used in the film and to serve as technical advisors. Nearly every day of filming at the studio, the stage would be filled with the aromas of that particular day's onscreen menu. Susan Spungen and Chef Flynn had their own kitchen area built onto each stage, where they worked wonders turning out multiple versions for multiple takes of everything from bruschetta to boeuf bourguignon to boned duck. "We didn't get anything sent back," jokes Chef Flynn.

Nora Ephron says what really impressed her about Susan Spungen's work was that they had to pull off a form of character-based cooking. In other words, the meals shouldn't signal to the audience that a trained chef was at hand. "Susan Spungen's a genius, because she made sure the food in the movie looked like a normal person made it," says Nora Ephron.

Often, Chef Flynn and Susan Spungen were called upon to make gargantuan amounts of rather demodé dishes rarely seen on contemporary menus, such as Lobster Thermidor for a dinner scene involving six eaters. That one required numerous takes over the course of the day. During the scenes showing the prep work for that evening, Amy Adams had to act with live lobsters take after take. When it came time to eat them on camera, Amy Adams begged off, pleading for fake lobster meat instead. "Cooking them in the scene before just traumatised me," she says with a rueful laugh. "And now I cannot eat lobster anymore."

Though Meryl Streep is a home cook and Amy Adams took classes before filming got underway, both were coached in French cooking techniques by Susan Spungen, including the deboning of that duck, not to mention the trick of flipping an omelet. "That was a difficult scene to coordinate, because we had to get all these actors playing students in the Cordon Bleu to flip their omelets at the same time along with Meryl Streep," says Susan Spungen. "We gave Meryl Streep some on-the-spot last-minute omelet-flipping lessons in our kitchen before she went on to film the scene. But she aced it, she was brilliant. She can swing a fish around in a piece of cheesecloth without anyone's coaching."

Meryl Streep says the biggest thing she took away from her culinary scenes was the importance of good knives. "Chopping onions is a breeze if the thing is nice and heavy and has a great edge," says Meryl Streep. "As Julia Child says, 'Always wash your knives, sharpen them, dry them and put them away.' A sharp knife is everything!"

Aside from the onscreen food, of which there was plenty, by late afternoon on filming days Nora Ephron and executive producer Don Lee would often have special treats delivered to the set for the entire cast and crew. These could be anything from the best chicken in Harlem to barbecued ribs from Brooklyn to fabulous sweets delivered by pastry chefs. Then, at wrap time, all the leftovers from the day's filming were brought out for the cast and crew to finish off. Nearly everyone packed on serious pounds during the three-month shoot.

From New York to Paris
Once the Julie Powell section of filming was completed, the Julia Child portion began, and cast and crew were plunged fifty years into the past. At Silvercup East Studios, production designer Mark Ricker and his team designed and built an exquisite version of the home Julia Child and Paul Child shared in Paris. "They lived in a great house, by the Seine," says Mark Ricker. "I actually had two photographs that I designed most of the apartment from. There was one that's quite well known, of Julia leaning out a window next to this beautiful curved sunroom. We just replicated that, because how could we not? We couldn't have come up with anything better. There was also a picture of Paul Child and Julia Child sitting by their fireplace. We replicated that corner and then the apartment just grew from that.

Everything else was from imagination, aside from the kitchen, because Paul Child had taken a number of publicity photos of it. By the time I stitched all the photos together in my mind, I had a 360-degree view of the kitchen, and it was just fantastic. It was up in the rafters of the house, with a beautiful window, great details. And so we just replicated it as much as we could - the tiles, the stove, the sink - everything. Because it was just great."

As for the iconic TV studio kitchen that so many people remember from Julia Child's legendary series "The French Chef," Mark Ricker did a lot of his research from her own papers, photographs and letters. "She left a treasure trove of information, including a lot of photographs of the 'French Chef' set," says Mark Ricker. "So with the combination of having behind-the-scenes photos and just being able to look straight at the DVD, we did the best we could to replicate a set that millions of people are familiar with. That was going to be the one that, of anything, people would know. So we had to get that right."

When it came to exteriors, it was clear to the filmmakers that certain scenes could only be captured in Paris. Nora Ephron was thrilled to bring her movie's Julia Child to the place where she really blossomed. "When you see Paris," recalls Nora Ephron, "you think, well, what else could we have done?"

"It was Paris that inspired Julia Child to love food and to master the art of French cooking," says Mark Ricker. "It was eating that very first Sole Meunière in France that transported her and began to change her life. She realised her fantasy, and it happened in Paris. Just being there, I think, may have inspired Meryl Streep's performance and Stanley Tucci's, too."

Following two days of prep, the five-day span of Paris location filming took place with seemingly effortless clockwork efficiency. Numerous company moves midway through shooting days were accomplished so smoothly that as many as three or four locations per day could be filmed. There was little in the way of delays, and even the weather cooperated, which was lucky because all shots scheduled were exteriors, with no cover sets planned. Paris has kept so much of its character over the years that, for most of the locations, little or no set-dressing was required in order to reset the scene to the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Much of the filming was concentrated close to the Seine on the Left Bank, in the Fifth and Sixth arrondissements, and around the neighborhoods of St. Michel and St. Germain des Prés. Sites included the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore, the Place Ste.-Geneviève, an outdoor café near the Place Maubert, and several bridges over the Seine. The central commercial street of the charming Ile St.-Louis was where Julia Child took her cooking students food shopping, and the park behind Notre Dame on the neighboring Ile de la Cité served for some of Stanley Tucci and Julia Child's strolls. A bit further afield, at the foot of Montmartre, was the art nouveau-era bakery where Julia Child goes to buy her morning croissants.

Perhaps the biggest scene shot in Paris, which required several days of prep and a full day of filming, took place on the Rue Mouffetard, a charming, narrow street in the Fifth arrondissement that is one of the oldest in the city. For generations its lower half has spent weekday mornings as an outdoor market. It is here that Julia Child really begins to discover her love for Paris and her burgeoning interest in cooking. "The narrowness of the street, the rooflines, the cobblestones- everything made it the right location for us," says Mark Ricker. "We needed to redress six facades to put them back to the right era, but so much of what we needed was already right there waiting for us."

By the time principal photography wrapped, nearly everyone involved with Julie & Julia had come to greatly appreciate the role sheer enthusiasm plays not just in cooking, but in finding the recipe for personal fulfillment. Passion unites each of these leading characters through their toughest times and their most triumphant moments, leaving the taste of fulfillment the sweetest one of all.

"Both women had setbacks, both decided to do something very hard, and both succeeded," says Nora Ephron.


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