Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 1 - Losing My Julie & Julia Virginity

The Hows and Wherefores...

For the moment, I will not tackle the existential query, "Why, Lawrence? Why Julie & Julia? Why now?" Instead, I shall stick to explicating the rules of engagement.

Starting today, Tuesday, November the 30th, 2010, I will watch the comedy-drama Julie & Julia every day for a exactly one year--from the opening title sequence until the very last credits roll.

The film clocks in at a humbling 2 hours, 2 minutes and 33 seconds, which means if I am successful in my endeavor, I will have watched 745.5125 hours of Julie & Julia, or rather, a little over 31 days of nothing but this movie.

I reserve the right to vary the manner in which I view the film, as watching any movie every day for 365 days would naturally grow tedious. For example, I'm allowing myself to multitask during viewings, which would let me simultaneously watch the film and do homework, watch the film and go to the bathroom, watch the film and masturbate, etc. However, that being said, I promise to dedicate as much of my attention as I can to this incredible, generation-defining film and the blog entries that accompany it.

Enough of these technicalities. Let us begin!

*****

Day 1

Those readers who are staying tuned to snicker at my ignominious defeat will have to wait another day. The inaugural viewing of the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project was a great success.

My initial reaction?

This film is simply delightful!

I am bowled over with relief, as I no longer have to worry about having to slog through 2 hours of drek every day for the rest of the year. Julie & Julia is a compelling and surprisingly dense narrative, chock full of dramatic tension and charming moments.

I'm sure we will be touching on the more nuanced plot intricacies and scene compositions in the 364 days to come, but briefly put--Julie & Julia follows the dual stories of the early life of celebrity chef Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep) and present-day New York blogger Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams), as she attempts to cook her way through Child's cookbook.

Streep is absolutely brilliant as Julia Child, the role for which she was nominated in the best actress category of the 2010 Oscars. Unfortunately, she did not win, but the oversight of the Academy does not diminish her performance in the least. Years from now, we will all look back at those Oscars and ask how the greatest actress of all time lost to some woman named Sandra Bullock, playing a racist, patronizing hillbilly in something called The Blind Side. If you ask me, the only "blind side" I'm aware of concerns the voting members of the Academy and their heinous failure to recognize one of the greatest acting talents of our generation.

Well, that's it for now--I don't want these entries to get too lengthy--but I guarantee that I will have many, many more readings and analyses of this wonderful film in the year to come. I just hope that you all will be along for the ride.

I watched Julie & Julia for the first time and lived to tell the tale. It was easy.

Too easy.

1 down. 364 to go.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Beginning of a Journey

The Film:

Julie & Julia. 2009. Meryl Streep. Amy Adams. Stanley Tucci. And, of course, the writer/director, Nora Ephron. The movie that launched a thousand ironic blogs. Julie & Julia taught America to write about inane things on the internet, and to subsequently obtain book and movie deals from them. It's one year later. Today, we think we live in the world of blockbusters like The Dark Knight and Avatar, but beneath it all is Julie & Julia, the little culinary comedy-drama that could--and nothing can touch it.

The Contender:

Northwestern University student by day, renegade connoisseur of average romantic comedies by night. Too snarky for print, too dumb for legitimate film analysis, and too lazy for anything else, Lawrence Dai was looking for a challenge. And in the Lawrence/Julie & Julia project he found it. Risking his already sad social life, his average GPA, and his high scores on karaokeparty.com, he has signed on for a deranged assignment.

Julie Powell managed to cook her way through all 524 recipes in Child's cookbook in a year, learning valuable life lessons along the way. I hope to learn as much, if not more, by watching the film Julie & Julia every day for a year.

365 days. 365 viewings of Julie & Julia.

One boy and his Netflix Instant account.

How far will it go? Probably, for like a week or something--until the gimmick wears out its welcome. But until then, we can only wait. And wait. And wait...

The Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project. Coming soon to a computer terminal near you.