I've often felt a tinge of regret that I was never able to encounter or work with many of the people I most admire. One of the things I find so interesting about the film is the fact that Julie Powell does find out what Julia thinks of her and at first is devastated by the response. Julia Child read Julie's blog and was not impressed. In short, she thought she was disrespectful and not a true cook. This is touched on in the film and you can read Julie's recent response here. More than the story of these two women what I found most inspiring was the conclusion Julie comes to with the help of her husband. It does not matter if Julia Child did or did not understand what she was doing, all that mattered was the Julia Child that Julie had created for herself, and the Julia Child that completely changed her life.
In my heart of hearts I know that much as I wish it even if I were able to invent that blasted time machine I would not be the person I would wish and more than likely would not encounter those I most admire, especially as anything more than a girl in bobby socks behind a barricade. I know that Cary Grant will not have a seat reserved next to him at the bar in heaven between him and Deborah Kerr (and even if he did I would not be able to keep up with the Parkeresque repartee) and Myrna Loy is not observing my movements from some discreet cloud. And yet, in their exquisite shadow play these people have inexplicably altered the course of my life. These people that I never met and can never meet have touched and moulded as Julia Child shaped Julie Powell. And this is what is important.
(And it's probably best that Barbara Stanwyck isn't alive because I'm pretty sure if she knew I called her Babs she would hunt me down and brass knuckle me in the face.)
Cheers to the grand delusion.
Photograph taken by me at the Julia Child exhibit on display at the Smithsonian Institute.