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WHAT'S COOKING WITH MERYL STREEP--A POTATO PANCAKE? MAIS OUI!

By GUY FLATLEY

 

A world-famous chef, who was also the star of her own popular live-TV show, once blithely flipped a potato pancake into the air, only to see it land not in the intended pan but on a decidedly un-photogenic work table. Not a bit flustered, she simply scooped up the smashed potato and molded it back into shape. Then, looking firmly into the eye of the camera, she told her audience, “Remember, you are alone in the kitchen, and no one can see you.”

 

This unflappable flipper, of course, was Julia Child, the lovably eccentric American who somehow managed to become an idolized French chef. And playing Child in Columbia's "JULIE & JULIA" is Meryl Streep, who, as you know, can glide from American to French or any other nationality on a minute’s notice.

The question is, what sort of scenario has writer-director Nora Ephron concocted that will give Streep a chance to don her apron and flip her potato pancake, as well as engage in some out-of-the-kitchen antics? After all, this film is supposedly an adaptation of “Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen,” Julia Powell’s 2005 book dishing out the comedy-drama of her decision to cook, over the course of one year, every single recipe in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and to serve the presumably tasty results to her husband and other guinea pigs. Her experiment took a toll in both the digestive and domestic realms.

At any rate, Amy Adams ("Catch Me If You Can," "Junebug," "Charlie Wilson's War") plays the central role of Julie. But you can bet that Ephron will cook up something tres delicious for Streep, who played the author to perfection in "Heartburn," based on Ephron's account of her disastrous marriage to philandering journalist Carl Bernstein.

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