A party without a cake is just a meeting.
— Julia Child
The 1961 publication of her best-seller, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, tossed Julia Child onto both the literary and culinary stage—she was nearly 50 years old at the time. Then, through her television series, The French Chef, she began coming into homes across America when her local show in Boston was syndicated nationally by PBS affiliate WGBH-TV. She landed The French Chef cooking series by way of her appearance on a book review show on Boston’s National Educational Television station.
Betsy West and Julie Cohen, as co-directors, will showcase Julia Child’s non-conforming life and they’ll have plenty of material to work with. Child wasn’t just a wizard in the kitchen.
Before she became famous as The French Chef, she was a copywriter for the in-house ad agency at W. & J. Sloane in New York. Following that, she became a top-secret researcher for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). She reported directly to the head of OSS, General William J. Donovan.
West and Cohen chronicled Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s rise to the top of the legal world in their film RGB, and they are reuniting to tell Julia Child’s story.
Child authored 18 cookbooks and starred or costarred in 13 television series.
Variety reports that West and Cohen will produce the film, which has the working title “Julia,” alongside Imagine Documentaries president Justin Wilkes and executive VP Sara Bernstein. Imagine Entertainment chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard and Imagine co-chairman Michael Rosenberg are executive producing along with Entelis, CNN Films senior VP Courtney Sexton, and Oren Jacoby, founder of West and Cohen’s company, Storyville Films. Carla Gutierrez will edit the documentary, having performed similar duties on RBG. The film, with the working title, Julia, is expected to wrap principal photography next year.
I think every woman should have a blowtorch.
Update, April 2020
Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Betsy West’s and Julie Cohen’s
Upcoming Julia Child Documentary
Imagine Documentaries and CNN Films are producing
in association with Storyville Films
Sony Pictures Classics has acquired worldwide rights, excluding domestic television, to the upcoming Julia Child documentary from Academy Award®-nominated, Emmy® Award-winning filmmakers Julie Cohen and Betsy West (‘RBG’), it was announced today. Under the working title JULIA, the film is currently in production, and is being produced by West, Cohen and Imagine Documentaries’ Justin Wilkes and Sara Bernstein, and executive produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg, Amy Entelis and Courtney Sextonof CNN Films, as well as Oren Jacoby of Storyville Films. CNN Films will retain U.S. domestic broadcast rights to the feature.
“JULIA promises to be a major independent movie event in 2021— entertaining, revelatory and resonant for today,” said Sony Pictures Classics. It is great to be in partnership with Imagine, CNN Films, and the formidable directors, Julie Cohen and Betsy West. We expect audiences will embrace JULIA in a big way.”