From Slate vie Rope of Silicon, a collection of accents perfectly nailed by Meryl Streep over the past few decades. Salon’s Stephanie Zacharek writes one of the week’s best reviews for Julie & Julia:
When an actor plays a real-life character we know and love, we always hope for verisimilitude, for body movements that capture the physical essence of a person we feel we know pretty well, for line readings that conjure the tone and timber of a particular voice and its speech patterns (that is, for line readings that make us forget there’s such a thing as “line readings”). A good actor can usually give us an exacting impersonation, a strictly followed recipe with every ingredient appropriately calibrated, and sometimes that’s good enough. But watching Meryl Streep as Julia Child in “Julie & Julia” — as she only semi-successfully flips an omelette, in a re-created clip from Child’s seminal ’60s-era television show “The French Chef”; as she stands at a table with her classmates at Le Cordon Bleu, her elbows crooked jauntily and a little awkwardly behind her; as she sits down to dinner with her husband, Paul (Stanley Tucci), the two of them having so much to say to each other that they sometimes chatter with their mouths full — goes beyond recipe reading. Streep isn’t playing Julia Child here, but something both more elusive and more truthful — she’s playing our idea of Julia Child.