Meryl Streep doesn't just play the late celebrity chef Julia Child in Nora Ephron's new film Julie & Julia, said Linda Barnard in the Toronto Star, she seems "possessed by her." Streep "completely captures the gangly 6-foot-2 woman who changed how America cooks, mimicking her attacks on both syllables and chicken carcasses, her breathless warble and the way she used her whole body as a punctuation mark, arms flailing" (watch the trailer for Julie & Julia).

Meryl Streep "is the most important ingredient" in this movie, said Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News, and "thanks to her you'll walk away satisfied, while simultaneously hungry for more." But the film's parallel story, starring Amy Adams as real-life blogger Julie Powell, who decided to attempt every recipe in Child's classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is dull and "uneven."

"There's almost no conflict in either of the stories presented in Julie & Julia," said Dan Callahan in Slant Magazine, "and though this is preferable to contrived conflict, it still leaves us with a rather overlong, lovey-dovey picture." But Streep's depiction of Child is remarkable: She "does an ebullient version of the woman's goosey, 'yum!' persona, right down to the messy hair and elongated vowels."