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Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Will Meryl Streep be a better Julia Child than Dan Akroyd? Why?

Asked by Noel_S_Leitmotiv (2719points) August 6th, 2009
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24 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Hey, even I can do a pretty good Julia Child imitation. She was so wonderfully eccentric and sui-generis I pray that Streep brushes the pig’s teeth in the movie, which I am hoping to see this week.

To answer your question, it’s a toss-up, but Meryl actually did it.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Yes. Without a doubt.
Meryl Streep is an actress with a level of talent we are not likely to see again for a long long time.

janbb's avatar

I think Meryl Streep would be a pretty good Dan Ackroyd too. She can do anything!

Bluefreedom's avatar

Meryl Streep is great, no doubt about that. With 15 Academy Award nominations and 23 Golden Globe nominations, she’s proved that she’s just about the best female actress….ever. I can certainly see her as a believable Julia Child.

ubersiren's avatar

It’s all a little weird to me. Julia Child’s mannerisms and voice were so unique to her and so distinctive. I’m sure Streep will do the best job possible, but as a Julia Child fan from a very young age, I think it’s gonna be uneasy for me. And yeah, she’s definitely gonna be better than Dan Akroyd.

autumn43's avatar

I think Meryl Streep is a better Julia Child than Julia Child was! I can’t wait to see the movie.

gailcalled's avatar

I cooked a Navarin printanier (spring lamb stew) once from her recipe. It almost finished me. Since I couldn’t get uniform little French potatoes and carrots, she expected me to peel and shape them so they were all oval and two inches long, for example.

She also insisted on three different cuts of lamb…for flavor, for gelatin, and for texture. My Manhattan butcher thought I was crazy. And at the end of practically every recipe, she suggested adding a dollop of butter “about the size of a pigeon’s egg.” 2500 calories per serving but it was ambrosial.

My only other (failed) attempt was a Charlotte Malakoff; I was supposed to begin by making my own lady fingers..That was it.

janbb's avatar

@gailcalled Are a Charlotte Malakoff and a Charlotte Russe similar things? My mother used to bring us Charlotte Russes from the city as a treat.

gailcalled's avatar

I can’t find the original recipe but here are two summaries;

Charlotte Malakoff aux Fraises, a rich dessert of layered almond cream, strawberries and ladyfingers—that required two cups of cream and two sticks of butter.

Charlotte Malakoff – It has a lining of ladyfingers and a center filling of a soufflé mixture of cream, butter, sugar, a liqueur, chopped almonds, and whipped cream. It is decorated with strawberries.
Charlotte Russe would be the same if the exterior were lady fingers. I’m not sure about the strawberries.

janbb's avatar

I have the feeling that Charlotte Russes were a New York bakery take off on the real thing but I’m too tired to research it now. Bon nuit!

aprilsimnel's avatar

I saw the preview. Meryl was divine. I love her work.

Julia Child led a very interesting life. I would love to see a movie just about her spywork while she was being wooed by her future husband.

gailcalled's avatar

I saw the preview also. I wish it had just been about Julia; her life was fascinating enough without bringing in some young pipsqueak.

Darwin's avatar

I also have cooked from Julia Child’s books, and several of her recipes have made it into standard family fare. Yes, some are fidgety or complicated, but they do all taste wonderful, especially that almond puff pastry dessert that requires seven sticks of butter.

I used to watch Julia Child’s various cooking shows when I was young. I have seen the previews of Meryl Streep and I must say she is very close to the real Julia, but she is just a touch off somehow. If I hadn’t seen the real Julia so often, I probably wouldn’t be bothered.

Also, Meryl Streep is supposed to be 5 feet 6 inches tall, but Julia was 6 feet 2 inches tall. It was always obvious on her cooking shows because the counters, at least in the early shows, were standard height. I know Hollywood can do many things, but I am not so certain that Ms. Streep will be convincingly tall.

gailcalled's avatar

@Darwin: Read this by A.O. Scott in today’s NYT. Scott is as ecstatic as he might be while eating your almond puff paste. Paul (Stanley Tucci) is convincingly short.


” By now this actress (Streep) has exhausted every superlative that exists and to suggest that she has outdone herself is only to say that she’s done it again. Her performance goes beyond physical imitation, though she has the rounded shoulders and the fluting voice down perfectly.”

“In Mr. Tucci Ms. Streep finds….. a perfect foil. Like the character he plays, he is gallant and self-assured and able to assert a strong sense of his own presence even as he happily cedes the center of attention. Together, their mastery of the art is so perfect that even quiet, transitional scenes between them are delightful. (And when Jane Lynch shows up as Dorothy, Julia’s sister, the delight ascends to an almost indecent level of giddiness).

If only Mr. Tucci and Ms. Streep were in every movie, I thought to myself at one point, as, in a state of rapture, I watched them sit still on a couch looking off into space.”

“Julia Child could whip up a navarin of lamb (see my comment… #7) for lunch, but Meryl Streep eats young actresses (Amy Adams as Julie) for breakfast.”

Darwin's avatar

But how well did A.O. Scott know Julia Child? With Meryl Streep in it it can’t be a bad movie as her performances are capable of redeeming many a sorry plot, but still Ms. Streep doesn’t quite sound exactly like the original (and she is more attractive and younger looking to boot).

And yes, Stanley Tucci is short, but did they cast the entire movie with short folks and build the sets shorter than usual as they used to do in the “Golden Age” of Hollywood to make the leading men look taller? From the previews I’ve seen, the answer is no.

It is a good movie, but Ms. Streep is not Julia Child, although that might not be obvious to those who didn’t grow up watching The French Chef, Julia Child & Company, Dinner at Julia’s, Cooking with Master Chefs, In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs, Baking With Julia, and Julia Child & Jacques Pépin Cooking at Home.

filmfann's avatar

Minority opinion here: I gotta go with Aykroyd
Meryl might be a better actress, but Dan feels this character in his blood.

gailcalled's avatar

@Darwin: I watched with fascination most of those shows also; of course, no one could be Julia Childs except Julia. That is the problem with all bio-pix; Capote, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Nixon, JFK, Schindler, Helen Keller, Karen Blixen (Meryl again) etc. work well, but if one has seen the originals do what they do, there is the image in your head. There is also the voice issue.

That said, these films are informative, entertaining and almost always, worth watching, Aykroyd is funny but his satire is too broad for me.

Maybe John Cleese could try; he’ certainly tall enough.

Scott probably knows Childs as well as you and I do, from watching her TV shows.

Darwin's avatar

I saw the Ray Charles bio-pic, and Jamie Foxx did an amazing job.

filmfann's avatar

He did, but the best bio-pic I have seen recently (last 10 years) was Le Vie En Rose. Marion Cotillard was amazing as Edith Piaf.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

gosh, am I the only person that hates Meryl Streep?

filmfann's avatar

@Psychedelic_Zebra Me too. She is so heavily respected, and most of her movies leave me flat.
The best things she has done were Manhattan and Ironweed. Most of the rest bores me.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

Meryl Streep cost hundreds of orchard owners a lot of business with her ALAR scare, even though no orchards in this area used it. Some of these businesses went under trying to fight the scare tactics of that misinformed Hollywood biotch. Just another fucking celebrity using their celebrity status to scare the gullible. That’s the main reason I hate her; that and she looks constipated. I wonder if she and Jennifer Aniston eat the same foods?

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