A Meryl Streep, Julia Child, Anna Wintour Weekend Film Fest For You!

September 10th, 2010

I recently watched The September Issue, a documentary about the making of the annual Vogue Fall fashion issue.  It’s a really fun film, delving into crystalline characters, punitive power struggles, cold cut business decisions and the art infused passion that is Vogue.  The movie focuses on the relationship between editor in chief, Anna Wintour and creative director, Grace Coddington.  In front of a glittering backdrop of models, movie stars and European photo shoots, the classic battle of business versus art wages on between Anna and Grace.  They are both fascinating women with passion and talent but very different visions regarding what they feel Vogue should represent to the world.

Laura Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada, was Wintour’s personal assistant for ten months and it is widely believed that the fashion editor in her book, Miranda Priestly, is based on Anna Wintour, although Weisberger insists that her book’s character is an amalgamation of many people she and her friends worked with over time.  You might remember that Meryl Streep played the role of Miranda Priestly in the movie The Devil Wears Prada.  Evidently Meryl played a much more sympathetic version of the editor on film than is portrayed in the book.

Meryl also played Julia Child in Julie and Julia a great film that covers the life of Julia Child while she lived in France.  I just finished Julia Child’s autobiography, My Life in France,  and I enjoyed the book very much.  Child’s wrote this book in an extremely engaging style blending the details of her life, scenes in France, cooking, friendships, family, marriage and her painstakingly slow rise to publication and success to make a very memorable memoir.

It is hard not to hear Julia’s cheerful trill as you read the book, but you will also be surprised to learn of some of the difficulties she faced in her personal and professional life.  It took eight years to write Mastering the Art of French Cooking, yet, Julia faced each crisis with her signature vigor and unflinching honesty which is just what one would expect of her.  She truly was an American gem.

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Meryl Streep as Julia Child

Julia Child as Julia Child

Meryl Streep as fashion magazine editor in chief,  Miranda Priestly.

Anna Wintour as fashion editor in chief, Anna Wintour.

Meryl and Stanley Tucci when they both worked for a fashion magazine.

Meryl and Stanley Tucci in happier times when she was a gourmet cook and he a retired government worker/photographer/all around wonderful husband.

Comments

  • km:

    Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci were awesome in both films. I suppose I blanked on the duo having worked together before probably becasue the character pairs are so different. I loved Julia but the Julie charachter was an eejit.

  • I love Meryl Streep!

    I can’t believe how much she was Julia Child! Even though I hate musicals, I watched Mamma Mia with the sound turned down most of the movie! It’s Complicated was very funny too!

  • I’ve heard mixed reviews on J&J. But I love Meryl and Stanley so I think I’m moving that sucker to the top of my Netflix list.

    • Bridget:

      I love the move Julie & Julia, but only because I fast forward through the parts that don’t have Meryl Streep in them. The movie is wonderful because it has Meryl and Stanley in it, but what is disappointing is that they didn’t just do a bioptic on Julia Childs. I understand that the movie is based on the blog Julie & Julia, but I found the Julie part to be rather dull and not very interesting. But that could be in part due to the fact that I don’t like Amy Adams as an actress.

      Rechelle: I am not sure if you have seen it but, another movie that I just saw that was really good was The Joneses. Great commentary on the what it takes to realize the American Dream and just how hollow that dream is.

  • I recently read My Life In France and enjoyed it thoroughly even hearing Julia’s voice in my head was great fun. Will have to see The September Issue especially in light of the fact that I just got Tim Gunn’s book as a birthday present.

  • Mindy:

    The movie The Devil Wears Prada was much, much better than the book. I normally can’t say that.

    • amy:

      I thought so too–and that’s rare. I kept getting irritated at the author of the book because she was such a whiner. Or at least that’s how she came off to me. Meryl’s performance alone made the Prada movie so much fun.

      Hey Rechelle–did you see “Doubt?” If you did, what did you think?

      • Rechelle:

        I am frightened of that movie. I have yet to watch it. The whole priest/pedophile thing is just not something I want to watch. Is it worth seeing?

        • amy:

          The acting is wonderful all around. I haven’t seen the play to compare it to but I thought the movie was thought-provoking. As a former evangelical, I found the subject matter (really more about doubt than pedophilia) fascinating. The few scenes that contrast the lives of the nuns versus the lives of the priests were especially interesting to me.

          Really, there aren’t any major pedophilia scenes or anything. It’s more about whether anything happened or not and the complexity of belief. I think you’d probably like it.

          • susan:

            Amy – what do you think the significance of the Hoffman’s gross longish nails was? I have been pondering that.

            I was VERY hesitant to see this film being so repulsed by the theme but it was thought provoking. As usual Hoffman, Streep and even Adams were wonderful.

          • judy:

            Meryl was magnificent in Doubt, as was the whole movie…magnificent buy creepy. And it seemed to me one never new exactly what was for sure happening.

  • amy:

    @Susan: (Warning–possible SPOILER ALERT)
    I’ve now seen the movie a couple of times and I wonder if Hoffman’s character is gay. And if the possible experience between he and the boy was more complicated than just an act of child abuse. Sure, it would still be criminal and still abuse, but what the mother says and things Hoffman’s character says make me think he might just be a gay man repressing. What do you think?

    • susan:

      Amy: I thought the same thing since the boy had that proclivity. The priest was compassionate and had more of a positive effect on that school and certainly the boy than the vitriolic sister played by Streep. My daughter told me she couldnt get past the beginning due to the nature of Streep and didnt think she could stomach a complete film with that running through. The only “humanity” she reflected was in the last scene. Pitiful and sad.

  • M.R.:

    Bring Meryl Streep back from the moon!

  • Bridget:

    Also meant to mention the movie- The Invention of Lying. Just watched the other day- it gets a let heavy handed towards the end, but overall I really liked the message of the movie. That we invented God because we are afraid of what happens after death. Pretty good flick.

  • This isn’t related to the Meryl Streep or Anna Wintour (as much as I’m a fan of both for varying reasons) instead I’m dying to know what you think of this fundamentalist Christian Wesley Scroggins, in Springfield MO who is attempting to remove books from the curriculum and school libraries. He is saying that books like Speak, Twenty Boy Summer and Slaughterhouse Five go against what he believes are Christian morals. Which means he probably hasn’t read the Bible, because I can think of plenty of ‘objectionable’ things that occur in that piece of literature.

    Here’s the link to his Op-Ed.
    http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http://www.news-leader.com/article/20100918/OPINIONS02/9180307/Scroggins-Filthy-books-demeaning-to-Republic-education

  • judy:

    Loved both movies, although like others wish Julia/ Julie was a bit more focused on Julia. Stanley Tucci is adorable.