Reviews of movies and TV focused on women

Julia, the Julia Child documentary

Julia Child in Julia the documentary

Julia the documentary is a look at Julia Child’s entire life from directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West. It uses a wealth of archival footage of her cooking and giving interviews. People who knew her and worked with her speak, and modern chefs who owe so much to her were interviewed.

Julia the documentary has been on my watch list for some time. After watching all 8 episodes of the dramatized story of Julia on HBO Max, it was time to fork over the $6 to see the documentary on Prime Video. You can see it that way now, or wait until May 30 to see it on CNN.

Julia Child in Julia the documentary

The documentary covers Julia’s life from childhood to her death at age 91. It talks about her parents, her marriage to Paul Child, her time in culinary school in Paris, and her career after she began teaching cooking to Americans.

We see snippets of her television shows, her public appearances, her letters. There are photos of Simca, her cookbook co-writer, of Paul and her family, and many photographs taken by Paul, some very intimate.

Julia Child in Julia the documentary

People who worked with her on public television like Russell Morash talked about her. Egad! The documentary reveals many plot points from the HBO series that don’t match the facts of her life exactly. Whether you deal strictly with the facts or dramatize her life, Julia Child was a trailblazer and an American icon.

Currently well-known chefs such as José Andrés and Ina Garten talked about her importance in attitudes toward food in America, as well as her influence on cooking shows and women chefs.

The film is a comprehensive and honest look at Julia Child and her life. We see her strengths and foibles, see her growth over the years and learn about her losses. Most importantly we come to understand her attitude toward life and living and how that helped make her a success.

If you have a renewed interest in Julia Child because of her portrayal on HBO by Sarah Lancashire, I totally recommend you watch this documentary on Prime Video. Wait, let me fix that – even if you haven’t seen the HBO series, this documentary about an extraordinary woman is worth the watch.

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4 responses to “Julia, the Julia Child documentary”

  1. Great review – wonderful documentary! Can’t wait to see it again now that I’ve gobbled up all 8 episodes of Julia on Max series. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. I grew up watching The French Chef with my mother as it was one of her favorite shows. Actually, it probably was her favorite show. As with the series, I have watched the documentary several times now and know I’ll watch it again. JC was a remarkable woman and with all the craziness in this country I have found I’m enjoying her company more and more. What a tonic she was and is. Thank you for your review.

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