MERYL Streep looks certain to secure a 16th Oscar nomination for her tour-de-force portrayal of an American cultural icon in the new comedy from writer-director Nora Ephron (Sleepless In Seattle).

Based on two memoirs set more than 50 years apart, Julie & Julia is a frothy and entertaining tale of cuisine, l’amour and the art of killing lobsters.

Scenes involving Streep in post-Second World War France are utterly delightful and every time she is off-screen, we hunger for more.

But present-day sequences headlined by Amy Adams, Streep’s co-star in 2008’s Doubt, lack the warmth or the depth of emotion.

Adams plays Julie Powell, who is emotionally worn by her work for an organisation connected with the rebuilding of the World Trade Center.

She decides to work through all 524 recipes in Child’s seminal tome, Mastering The Art Of French Cooking.