The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Julie & Julia

Film celebrates spirituality and enthusiasm.

Meryl Streep plays Julia Child in her
Meryl Streep plays Julia Child in her on-camera TV persona, displaying a whole chicken — before showing viewers how to cut it up.
Theologian Dorothee Soelle once wrote: “To be amazed means to behold the world and, like God after the sixth day of creation, to be able to say again for the first time, ‘Look! How very good it all is!’ ” This movie is a delicious comedy about two women who have that kind of response to food and cooking. Meryl Streep plays Julia Child, who is living in Paris in the 1950s, going to cooking school and beginning to write the cookbook that will make her famous. Amy Adams is Julie, a New Yorker who 50 years later decides to cook the 524 recipes in Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 365 days and write about her experiences in a blog. Both story lines show the process of finding one’s calling through creativity.

We love this movie’s spunky celebration of the spiritual practice of enthusiasm — both characters are exceptional mentors of this quality — and its portrait of personal transformation arriving in the midst of everyday activities (Columbia Pictures, PG-13 — brief strong language, some sensuality).


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February issue


Embracing diversity