Why Julia Hated Julie


If you find blogger Julie Powell (played by Amy Adams) just a little annoying in Julia & Julia, Nora Ephron manages to sneak in one unexpected bit of gratification: so did Julia Child! Indeed, the scene where Powell finds out that Child doesn't approve of her blog is such an out-of-nowhere shock (and one that's never quite resolved) that it leaves audiences wondering where exactly Child's displeasure came from.

Writer Russ Parsons, who introduced Child to Powell's blog years ago, elaborated further on Child's reaction in today's LAT:

When I found "The Julie/Julia Project" online, I was fascinated by it. [...] Of course, I was also interested in what Julia might think about it. So I printed out the whole thing and took it up to her. She hadn't heard about it, but promised to have a look and get back to me.

I didn't hear from her for several days, so eventually I called her up. "So Julia," I asked, "what do you think?"

There was a silence as she gathered her thoughts. Then in that familiar reedy voice she nailed the answer: "Well," she said, "she just doesn't seem very serious, does she?

"I worked very hard on that book. I tested and retested those recipes for eight years so that everybody could cook them. And many, many people have. I don't understand how she could have problems with them. She just must not be much of a cook."

You got off easy, Julie. Not a "bloggerviper" to be found!

· Julie, Julia and me: Now it can be told [LAT]


  • icallthebigonebitey says:

    Everytime I start to get mad at Julia Child for being cunty and homophobic, I just remember what she looked like. All her life.
    Then I think about tripping her and what a loud sound that would make. That usually does the trick.

    • CC says:

      you are disgusting

    • Meg says:

      Obviously you're suffering from a mental illness. Why would she have a phobia about people like you? She wasn't afraid of your kind, but it does seem that you're Juliaphobic.

  • Lowbrow says:

    If imitation is the highest form of flattery, Julia Child had a strange way of showing her gratitude. I guess having to go through life resembling a transgendered linebacker may have skewed her self-esteem.

  • alexarch says:

    An old person does not appreciate a blogger? The devil, you say.

  • JohnD says:

    Julia Child was an old woman and a product of another time. For grown adults to joke about her looks after her death is weird.

  • Smack says:

    Have you guys even read Julie Powell's blog? The thing is, I completely understand what Julia was talking about since the blog is barely even about the food. She seems scatterbrained and worthless, and what I really wanted to read was how everything tasted and looked and was. Which she failed at.
    I'm on team Julia, in re: Julie Powell. The gays, not so much.

  • Old No.7 says:

    What Russ Parsons fails to mention, is that Powell is none too fond of Child's blogsite, Chicks With Dicks.

  • icallthebigonebitey says:

    a) she wasn't always an old woman
    b) there is never an excuse for prejudice

  • anonymous says:

    Since when was Julia Child a homophobe?

  • choward says:

    I grew up watching Julia Child's cooking show as a child. Not by choice but because my mother was watching it and I can honestly say that I put my barbie dolls down and actually watched her. She was warm and funny and not easy to ignore. I saw the movie and wished that they had forgotten about Julie Powell and just stuck to Julia. Her life and her relationship with her husband and relationship with food was interesting and endearing.
    Have you read Julie's blog. It is boring and insipid and she did basically steal someone else's hard work and dedication to get her 15 minutes of fame. We wont be hearing from her any time soon but we will all remember Julia Child. And why are any of you elevating Julie Powell to Judy Garland status?

    • Linda Povlock says:

      I totally agree...the movie would have been so much more enjoyable if it had been about Julia and Paul only...and their amazing life in France.

    • kitty says:

      I agree. Julie was really annoying. Anyone who is so narcissistic and needy for attention (or fame?) needs professional help. The husband is a saint to have put up with her. Besides, she hasn't come up with anything new, but just copied somebody else's ideas ans hard work.....boring.

  • Sierra says:

    I was dissapointed with the ending of the movie, though the film was good throughout. I actually liked the character Amy Adams played better that Streep's character. (I think if anyone else was working that hard and then dropped their work on the floor, they'd cry too!) I can see why Julia would have been a little uncomfortable about Julie's blog but I think she also should have been honored that someone loved her work so much.

  • Anjelica says:

    Look, here's the deal:
    Maybe YOU think that Julie Powell was "boring and insipid" but she wasn't expecting to have her 15 minutes of fame, she just wanted to write a blog, and you know what blogs are usually about? THOUGHTS. Even though the blog was a challenge to her culinary skills, that wasn't the only reason that Julie published her blog. Maybe she just wanted a creative outlet to store her thoughts.

  • Marlee says:

    I think all of you are just a little too serious. You've missed the point!
    Julia Child = Splendid
    Cooking with Love for food = Superb
    Anyone who loves both = Brilliant

  • Darlene says:

    I've not read Julie's blog or book, but just watched the movie. Her idea to dedicate a year to going through the entire book and blogging on her adventures is clever and creative. Who cares if she didn't allocate more time toward describing a dish flavor, etc. She's not a critic or claims any professional stature on the subject. If anything...maybe her project encourages others to do the same and blog on their perspective of the adventure!? Regardless, sometimes creative concepts merit greater exposure with a book compiling the numerous stories of the adventure. She was lucky and that successful book converted to a movie. Julia Child earned her own success just as Julie Powell has the right to earn her own as well.
    Something I think many people are missing, including the late Julia Child is this...We all know Mrs. Child developed a detailed book to teach American women the basics of French kitchen cuisine and the very basics of cooking as well...all this for women who (as said in the movie) do not have servants or personal chefs to cook for them. What made Mrs. Child's book such a historical success were average-day women LIKE JULIE POWELL doing the very thing Mrs. Child intended when pursuing the development of her book. What I don't understand is Julie Powell being degraded for simply trying to do what Mrs. Child intended with her publishing such a book! Did Mrs. Child actually think every woman who purchased/obtained her book had great skill or aptitude in the kitchen? I'd surely presume she was naive for a 91yo woman if that were true! Granted, women were in a quite different situation decades ago and possibly had more time on their hands to hone their skills in the kitchen, but times have changed and women these days shouldn't be mocked or disregarded if they choose to attempt a similar adventure as Julie Powell's...even if fumbling along the way, clumsy or not and even if the instructions were spelled out crystal clear. Everyone has their shortcomings and struggles regardless of the hobby/profession/adventure. I think its wonderful Julie Powell chose to follow through with the project and I think its wonderful how her life has changed because of her determination. Kudos to her!!! We could all learn from her experience regardless of the hobby medium.

    • minkc99 says:

      Julie Powell did not make those recipes. Anyone who actually cooks or anyone that has made a Julia Child recipe can tell you that Julie Powell is a fake. She had enough computer savvy back in the day to do a blog long before most even heard of the word blog. But, she couldn't figure out how to take pictures with her digital camera and put the recipes that she made on her blog. Her husband is in the IT field and yet she still couldn't figure out how to get the recipes she made on her blog. She figured out how to set up a blog but she couldn't figure out how to put photos on her blog. She went on the Oprah show to talk about the recipes. Oprah has had skads of guests on her show that cook, even actresses that aren't known for cooking will cook on her show. Julie Powell did not cook while being a guest on Oprah's show. The other problem with Julie Powell's credibility is that where she lives/lived in New York there is no readily available ingredients for her to do those recipes. She claims she was too poor to attend culinary school and yet she can afford the high dollar ingredients and cooking utensils that are required to make those recipes. Julie Powell did not make those recipes. I know it and I can assure you that Julia Child knew it. That's why she wouldn't meet with Julie Powell. Julia Child knew that she wasn't seriously cooking the recipes. I know this because when the movie came out I made it inspired me to make 100 recipes. It was grueling, expensive and very time consuming. There is no way Julie Powell who is a self proclaimed lazy girl made the 365 recipes. Julie Powell is the Milli Vanili of the culinary world. I, too blogged about my 100 recipes. In the beginning I was inspried by Julie Powell but the more I cooked and posted photos and my results the more I realized what a fake she truly is.

      • Chef d'oeuvre says:

        This is my exact reaction after seeing the movie. I know Julia Child's cookbooks but have not read Powell's blog or book. I don't believe it's possible to have cooked 500-odd Child recipes in 365 days while working a day job and blogging about the whole thing.

        • minkc99 says:

          I'm pretty sure Julia Child saw right through Julie Powell and didn't want to participate in the mockery of all that Julia Child worked so hard to achieve.

  • Jenny says:

    I've just watched the movie for the second time. I thought it was lovely.
    Julia Child may have missed the point...This is a woman with a full time job cooking these things at night after she's returned from oftentimes grueling work. I can totally relate. For Mrs.Child, cooking was her job.
    Sometimes I'm lucky if I can make a grilled cheese after a long day's work. Our generation of women are lucky that the expectations upon our mothers, grandmothers have not been put upon us in quite the same way.

  • Priya says:

    Darlene, how beautifully put! I really appreciate your thoughts on this and i totally agree! They were both special and had individual tallents and hardships that they faced. We could all learn something important from both of them.. 🙂

  • Lacey says:

    i agree, it is very disrepectful as well as rude.

  • Jennifer says:

    For the people at the beginning who were bashing Julia Child (for her LOOKS, worst of all, easy freaking target)- shame on you. You are the products of a time when it's hammered into you from a very young age to be tolerant of other people who are different. At the time during which she was growing up, people were NOT raised this way, had no conception of it, and by the time she was an old lady, she had formed her habits and couldn't change. I work in assisted living with the elderly- there's a reason they say "you can't teach an old dog new tricks". Shame on you for thinking you somehow have the right to sit in judgement of people who came from such a different background.
    You want to see "tolerance" and and absence of prejudice? Go to ANY other country in the world with people who look different than you do, and see how much you really fit in. Oh, they'll be polite, they might even like you, but see you as the same as they are? Never.
    Get a job and buy a clue, you idealistic, self-righteous, naive idiots.

  • mary smith says:

    June 2011
    I have watched the movie several times, and I understand entirely why "Julia Child" did NOT want to meet. Put yourself in her place...personal journey, in which it took her "Julia Child" to write and re-write recipes, and not only that, but, look at the courage, and the optimism that she held on to, during the years of struggle to complete this triumph. Then, it should be perfectly clear…and, no need to wonder why…”JULIA CHILD" did NOT want to meet.
    Let us search our souls, and think about how one would have actually felt if they had walked in “Julia Child” journey to moment in "Time" when, "JUlIA CHILD" “Master the Art of French Cooking” and ask, “How would YOU feel if you were “Julia Child”?
    "Julia Child" is an ICON and nothing less. All Julie Powell did was cook and BLOG from “Julia Child’s” "Master the Art of French Cooking"
    What's more, actually, anyone could do what Julie Powell did. Julie Powell got “LUCKY” and “Hollywood came knocking, for the love of ‘MONEY’. Furthermore, all it took was an idea, and start Blogging.
    It should be perfectly “clear” why "Julia Child" did NOT want to meet. 6/2011.

  • Gross says:

    I hated "Julie & Julia" simply for all the eating noises. Gawd, the gross, slurpy mouth noises!

  • kellbrigan says:

    Maybe, just maybe, the fact that Powell the narcissist opens the blog by talking about how she sold her ova might have something to do with it? Not everybody thinks abandoning your children to the winds is ethical behavior. Heaven knows, the kids who are victims of this barbaric practice are mad as hell about it.



  • Jimmy says:

    Umm, Julia should have met Julie in life. Julie admired her work, but apparently Julia did not understand Julie's blog and her admiration. In fact, Julie represents all those women in our times who love cooking but do not have the time of the day to dedicate hours to the art of cooking. They are busy with other jobs...and not to mention, Julie suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder, which made her focus on cooking more challenging.

  • minkc99 says:

    Julie Powell is a fraud. If you can find one person that will confirm that she observed Julie preparing one recipe from the Julia Child cookbook, then I will change my mind about Julie Powell. Until then, I think she is a fraud. If she was savvy enough to blog long before most had even heard about it, why in the world couldn't she post photos of the recipes she made? I was inspired by her movie (because at the time I didn't know she was a fraud), I made one hundred of the recipes. It's a ton of work, a lot of money and you most definitely want a photo of any recipe that you can accomplish from Julia Child's recipe book. Julia Child wanted no part of Julie Powell's nonsense. If Julie Powell couldn't afford to go culinary school then how in the world could she afford all the ingredients, special cookware and alcohol for 365 recipes? I would love to meet Julie Powell in real life and challenge her to make a recipe of my choice from the Julia Child cookbook. I bet she would be clueless in the kitchen. In fact, her next movie should be titled, "Clueless in the Kitchen."