Julia is waiting at the theater this Thanksgiving

This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows chef Julia Child, the subject of the documentary "Julia." (Jim Scherer/Sony Pictures Classics via AP)
Caption
This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows chef Julia Child, the subject of the documentary "Julia." (Jim Scherer/Sony Pictures Classics via AP)

Credit: Jim Scherer

Credit: Jim Scherer

In typical years Thanksgiving has offered Hollywood studios a box office feast.

For those who choose to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, and manage to skirt free of a tryptophan hangover who don’t watch sports, the movie theater strongly beckons and in the last decades, the box office receipts bear that out.

It’s a weekend when blockbusters and Oscar-bait are rolled out to audiences hungry for entertainment after devouring a gigantic meal.

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This year food lovers can relish in that satisfying comfort meal followed by a documentary film that tells the story of a culinary icon’s lifetime of cooking.

On Nov. 24 The Neon movies will open “Julia,” a documentary by the directors of “RBG,” which chronicles the life of Julia Child and her journey to write and publish 1961′s groundbreaking cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

Caption
This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows chef Julia Child, the subject of the documentary "Julia." (Paul Child/Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University/Sony Pictures Classics via AP)

Credit: Paul Child

This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows chef Julia Child, the subject of the documentary "Julia." (Paul Child/Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University/Sony Pictures Classics via AP)
Caption
This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows chef Julia Child, the subject of the documentary "Julia." (Paul Child/Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University/Sony Pictures Classics via AP)

Credit: Paul Child

Credit: Paul Child

The film takes on her humor and playfulness beginning with the opening Jimi Hendrix tune, giving a nod to her rock and roll status in the kitchen.

Her life was a love letter to France, to her beloved husband, Paul Child, to passion in all things, to adventure, to history and to the unending quest to uncover all of the flavors that a kitchen and a great cook can discover together with the right ingredients.

Not content with TV dinners and the convenient cooking that was in style at the time, she blazed trails with a thirst for knowledge, travel and hunger for fine dining.

In her beloved husband’s words she was “funny, darling and intelligent.” And she was that.

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Famous chefs including Marcus Samuelsson, Ina Garten and José Andrés weigh in on her genius and trailblazing career.

This film is a powerful feel-good story of overcoming enormous odds.

Child was a woman trying to do impossible things — firstly endeavoring to make a name for herself in a male-dominated profession. Secondly, as an American trying to blaze trails in the art of French cooking, training at the elite Le Cordon Bleu school in Paris, France. Thirdly, as an author taking 12 long years to write an enormous cookbook with two other chefs that changed the entire publishing industry. Lastly, as as unlikely television star demonstrating recipes from one of the most challenging cuisines, bringing French cooking to American cooks who had already embraced convenience.

Caption
This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows chef Julia Child at Ecole Des Trois Gourmandes, her cooking school in Paris. Child is the subject of the documentary "Julia." (Paul Child/Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University/Sony Pictures Classics via AP)

Credit: Paul Child

This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows chef Julia Child at Ecole Des Trois Gourmandes, her cooking school in Paris. Child is the subject of the documentary "Julia." (Paul Child/Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University/Sony Pictures Classics via AP)
Caption
This image released by Sony Pictures Classics shows chef Julia Child at Ecole Des Trois Gourmandes, her cooking school in Paris. Child is the subject of the documentary "Julia." (Paul Child/Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University/Sony Pictures Classics via AP)

Credit: Paul Child

Credit: Paul Child

Today food is a serious hobby, entertaining activity and lucrative business, but before Child came around, home cooks were missing style and imagination, using processed and boxed food while chefs were relegated to the kitchen with little fanfare.

Child changed all of that. She was creative, unapologetic, talented, funny, theatrical and dedicated to her art form. She had the courage of her convictions and was approachable and real. As her career took off she also helped public television take off. She was a progressive, relatable forward thinking woman who opened many doors for others.

Hers is the salivating story of a life well lived, taking what was considered a domestic profession and making it cool, fun and accessible.

Caption
Legendary television chef Julia Child has been teaching American to cook for years and is still at it as she celebrates her 90th birthday. She is shown here in 1999. (J. KYLE KEENER/DETROIT FREE PRESS/TNS)

Credit: J. KYLE KEENER

Legendary television chef Julia Child has been teaching American to cook for years and is still at it as she celebrates her 90th birthday. She is shown here in 1999. (J. KYLE KEENER/DETROIT FREE PRESS/TNS)
Caption
Legendary television chef Julia Child has been teaching American to cook for years and is still at it as she celebrates her 90th birthday. She is shown here in 1999. (J. KYLE KEENER/DETROIT FREE PRESS/TNS)

Credit: J. KYLE KEENER

Credit: J. KYLE KEENER

She had a healthy appetite and a love for eating and paved the way for modern chefs and home cooks to explore and experiment with food.

When you cook, you give part of yourself to others. There is deep joy that can be found in cooking. There is community that can be discovered. There is also so much love. That coupled with generous amounts of butter, and Child gave all of us a recipe for magic.

If you are looking for inspiration in the kitchen this week, look no further, this is the film for you.

Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Share info about your menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of exciting outdoor spaces, new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at? E-mail Alexis Larsen at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com with the information and we will work to include it in future coverage.

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