Telluride 2021 review: ‘JULIA’ is a mouthwatering doc about the cultural icon, Julia Child.

JULIA

At the 48th annual Telluride Film Festival, audiences were treated to a delicious documentary Friday with JULIA. Julia Child is one of the most well-known people on the planet when it comes to food. Who didn’t grow up with a copy of Mastering The Art Of French Cooking? It was on every kitchen shelf. In the new documentary, directed and produced by Julie Cohen and Betsy West, interviews with modern-day household names in the culinary world are interspersed with archival footage, personal photos, and clips from Julia’s cooking programs. Her distinctive voice is heard over glorious footage of cooking. If watching this doc does not make you salivate, I don’t know what will. We learn about Julia’s upbringing. After college, she breaks with conservative familial expectations to explore different paths. This would come to include WWII military service. She even confessed a desire to be a spy. During her travels, she meets the future love of her life, Paul. The film shares letters from Julia and Paul, as well as journal entries throughout the years. Paul captured her heart but it was food that sparked Julia’s lust for life. After moving to Paris, her very first meal would change the course of history.

Photo by Fairchild Archive/Penske Media/Shutterstock (6906383b)
Julia Child on the set of her cooking show, ‘The French Chef
Julia Child, Boston

JULIA exposes the toxic masculinity inside the culinary industry. She was a giant among men, often quite literally. Her physical stature would not be overshadowed by her boisterous personality. Julia Child was a feminist, even a board member of Planned Parenthood. She didn’t let anyone tell her she couldn’t do something. Julia made sure she stayed relevant. She was flirtatious, fearless, and ever-evolving as a human being. Some of the most beautiful aspects of the film come in friends and family doting on Julia and Pauls’s marriage. Their relationship is reminiscent of Ina and Jeffrey Garten‘s. Paul was her right-hand man, her biggest cheerleader, and he worshipped her. It’s a simple fact that Child paved the way for female chefs today.  She essentially gave them instructions as intricately written as her first cookbook. JULIA isn’t simply a documentary about a culinary icon. It’s a lesson in passion. It’s a love story. It’s a legacy on film.



Telluride Film Festival runs from September 2nd -6th, 2021


12 Tribeca Film Festival movies already picked up

HBO has already snagged two documentaries: The Apollo (Opening Night), about the legendary Harlem theater, and At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, which is pretty much self-explanatory. Introducing younger audiences to the delightful Dr. Ruth Westheimer will be Ask Dr. Ruth acquired by hulu. At 90 years old, she’s still leaving her mark on the world. IFC Films will release Charlie Says from director, Mary Harron. I’m just glad they waited to make a movie until after his death. Same goes for the Ted Bundy story starring Zac Efron, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, which Netflix picked up at Sundance.

After premiering at the Berlin Film Festival, Goldie looks to be a promising tale of the pursuit of happiness. The latest Halston documentary seems to be less talking heads than Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston, which played at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. Dan Krauss won best documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013 for The Kill Team and has now made a narrative of the same with Nat Wolff and Alexander Skarsgård from A24.

In the documentary, Leftover Women, the story surrounds the effects of the gender imbalance of the “one child” policy in China. A24’s second release is the summertime drama, Low Tide. The documentary acquired by Sony Pictures Classics, Maiden, tells of an all-female crew in 1989 who competed in a prestigious yacht race. And last but not least, is The Quiet One from Sundance Selects, telling the story of Bill Wyman a founding member of The Rolling Stones that walked away from it all to be his own legend.

  1. The Apollo (HBO)
  2. Ask Dr Ruth (hulu)
  3. At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal (HBO)
  4. Charlie Says (IFC Films)
  5. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (Netflix)
  6. Goldie (Vice Media, Fox)
  7. Halston (The Orchard, CNN Films)
  8. The Kill Team (A24)
  9. Leftover Women (MetFilm Sales)
  10. Low Tide (A24)
  11. Maiden (Sony Pictures Classics)
  12. The Quiet One (Sundance Selects)