Before there was an endless amount of cooking tutorials that could easily be found on Youtube, there were cooking shows. Cooking shows are a wonderful way to pass the time, or simply be something to watch when you want to go for a reality show without all the drama. Ultimately, sitting down and relaxing with a show featuring a person who’s all smiles and excited to show you how to bake something as simple as a peach cobbler is entirely a fun way to make time fly by. Especially when that person connects with their audience to make cooking fun.
But, where did the genre of filming the fun of cooking and premiering it to audiences originate from? How has it grown itself into being something so entertaining? Both of these questions can gladly be answered by simply being aware of the queen of French cuisine, and the pioneer of the cooking genre itself: Julia Child.
And, on top of these said cooking shows being a blast to watch (and learning about Julia Child herself), another marvelous thing to watch is the new HBOMax original biopic series ‘Julia’; which details the life of Julia Child and how her rise to finding a new way to implement cooking into an entire genre came to be.
‘Julia’: Appealing To Oneself And The Masses
‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’, written by Julia Child, is not a niche book to know about; if you walked into any cooking fanatics’ house, or simply any chef’s house, you would certainly find the cookbook among their libraries. This is just one of the many ways Child had an impact on the masses as a whole; changing the way that the typical steak and potatoes family could instead create fine French cuisine in their very own kitchens in the 1960s.
The newly released series on HBOMax, ‘Julia’, (created by Daniel Goldfarb) details the life of Julia Child right before she would become well-known for her techniques of French cooking; and then follows right into her talent of not being afraid to showcase her cooking in front of a wide audience, which would then essentially invent the cooking genre of television as a whole. With its three-episode premiere (and new episodes premiering every Thursday), the HBOMax original is deeming itself to be exciting and all-around a biographical fun time in a multitude of ways; such as tackling themes of feminism and reinvention as Julia Child becomes a well-known public figure in her 50s.
First and foremost, in regards to the acting, Sarah Lancashire (who plays Child) and David Hyde Pierce (who plays Paul Child, Julia’s husband) are effectively portraying the Child duo. More specifically in relation to Julia, Lancashire plays the part in her own way and doesn’t try to mimic the voice that Julia Child had been made fun of for so many years; along with Lancashire not being over six feet tall as Julia was as well. Interestingly enough, despite us as the audience knowing that the physical side of things isn’t entirely realistic here, it still brings that sense of empathy and intriguing justice to ‘Julia’ as we are seeing a story waiting to fully unveil itself to us as it details the life of a woman who had done so much in the realm of the world of cooking.
With all that said, the cast and storyline are impeccable within ‘Julia’; and overall, it seems as though this biopic will be entirely respectable to Julia Child’s legacy as a cook and as a pioneer of the cooking genre.
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The Cinematics Of Cooking
When looking back on the cinematography in ‘Julia’, the color scheme creates an overall rather warm atmosphere filled with hospitality; like a freshly baked homemade pie, if we can relate this to cooking. The way the camera syncs with the characters and takes over a storybook-Esque vibe through how everything is visually positioned (and portrayed) is incredibly impressive to me. For a show that details the life of an unlikely star and her rise to appeal to the masses through cooking, the fun (and dreamy-like) environment fits perfectly well.
Similar to all the biopics that we’ve seen thus far in 2022 (i.e. ‘Pam & Tommy’, ‘The Dropout’, ‘Inventing Anna’, etc.), it’s no surprise that ‘Julia’ is rather cinematography-heavy. There’s art in the way that visuals convey emotion through simple camerawork, along with how (when done effectively) can engross the audience and further along with the story, even more than with just words. This is especially true in ‘Julia’; where the camera is ultimately the actors’ partner and the storytelling being based on all that we got to learn about Julia Child before her death in 2004.
Overall, it was magnificent to see cinematography used so well in yet another biopic; and I’m excited to see what more the cinematographers, Eric Moynier and Dan Stoloff, have in store for the series from a visual standpoint; ultimately, seeing how the rest of Child’s journey into stardom plays out and if that warm color scheme will remain throughout the series.
Optimistic For A Journey Into Cuisine
As I mentioned before, the three-episode premiere of ‘Julia’ has shown itself to be quite an entertaining and delightful biographical story that doesn’t seem to involve itself in much drama and/or conflict. I’m thrilled to see how the series will play out, and what’s to come for dear Julia Child herself (and all of the people around her as well). I adore this trend of 2022 with biopics about important female figures in history and our cultural world. It’s a wild and amazing journey to see insight and a cinematic interpretation of these women as they’ve impacted our society one way or another.
Be sure to check out new episodes of ‘Julia’ premiering on HBOMax every Thursday! After the third episode, I can tell you all without a doubt that you’ll be exceptionally anticipating the next episode to come out quicker; leaving you hungry for more and already prepared to see how the story will unfold (and end) itself.
Cinematography: Eric Moynier, Dan Stoloff | Editor(s): Addison Donnell, J. Kathleen Gibson | Director(s): Jenée LaMarque, Melanie Mayron | Writer(s): Daniel Goldfarb, Emily Bensinger | Producers: Donna E. Bloom, Denise Pinckley, John Fedynich
By Leah Donato
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