**/**** Image A Sound A Extras B+
starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina
screenplay by Nora Ephron, based on the books Julie and Julia by Julie Powell and My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme
directed by Nora Ephron
by Bryant Frazer It can hardly be disputed that Meryl Streep is among the finest, or at least the most finely proficient, of actors currently working. It's a drag, then, to see her resort to caricature and impersonation, even when she's sending some voltage through a limp premise. Riffing on demon-editor Anna Wintour, she ended up adding pathos to a cartoonish character, swallowing whole not just the working-girl melodrama that was The Devil Wears Prada, but also her poor co-star, Anne Hathaway, who appeared to be hanging on for dear life to a carnival ride. That speaks well to Streep's enduring star power, but I've always felt the effect was a little ostentatious--like one of the Rockefellers showing up to work at a soup kitchen over the holidays. It raises the question: Can a mediocre film really be redeemed by the presence of a terrific performance?