Your favorite food movies?

maki
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With the much anticipated release of Julie & Julia yesterday in the U.S. (see here for upcoming release dates in other countries - I won’t be able to see it until September, rats!), I thought it might be fun to talk about our favorite movies in which food plays a major role. Here are some of mine -

The pantheon:

  • Tampopo - could just possibly be my all time favorite movie, period. One of these days I will do a very detailed analysis of this…
  • Babette’s Feast - Food, passion, art - heaven.
  • Big Feast Night - Again, food as passion and vocation…vs. commercial compromise (and brotherly love/hate.)
  • Eat Drink Man Woman - family, food, love, food food
  • Like Water For Chocolate - The magical qualities of food
  • Kamome Shokudo (Kamome Diner) - I wrote about this here.

Just misses the pantheon:

  • Supermarket Woman - A funny funny movie from the same director as Tampopo. Not quite as profound so it just misses the pantheon. - Wrote about this too here.
  • Ratatouille - Here’s my review of it. It’s not in the pantheon because I was just a tiny bit disappointed by it somehow…it’s not even my favorite Pixar movie (that would be Toy Story 2, fwiw) Still a wonderful movie.

Also good:

  • Defending Your Life - Imagine a world where all the food is delicious, and you can eat all you want without ever getting sick or fat…. Here if only because of a great scene where Meryl Streep slurps up a plate of pasta with gusto.
  • The Wedding Feast - Misses because food is fairly secondary, yet important. Great movie though!
  • Waitress - Lovely pies. Mmm, pie.
  • Mostly Martha (not the Americanized remake, No Reservations, which I haven’t seen) - A brittle woman who only lives through her work as a chef finds love and so on
  • Udon - Pursuit of the perfect udon. Not a great movie per se but, great udon!
  • Last Holiday - Queen Latifah finds happiness and food in a deluxe resort oddly set in the Czech Republic (I think) even though Gerard Depardieu (the chef) is speaking French to all the local market stall sellers, which probably means they transplanted a whole French-Swiss alpine village there just for him. Talk about job perks. Anyway, surprisingly fun, great food shots, Emeril Lagasse cameo.

Weird, sometimes disgusting, but good

  • Soylent Green - “It’s…people!!!”
  • Dumpling (Gaau Ji) - I saw this on late night TV once, drawn by the title. Oh. My G. I couldn’t go to dim sum for months. You are forewarned.

Ones I have not seen but probably should

  • The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
  • Eating Raoul

Honorable mentions - these are TV series where food stars (scripted shows only)

  • Chef! - a UK series, starring Lenny Henry as a very testy chef. First season was hilarious, 2nd season not as much, but still good
  • Pie in the Sky - another UK series; Semi-retired detective who runs restaurant and is also dragged in by the local constabulary to solve difficult cases. Great fun.
  • Dae Jang Geum ( 대장금 or 大長今 in Korean, aka Jewel in the Palace; Japanese title 宮廷女官チャングムの誓い)- a terrific historical drama about a girl goes from being a cook in the Empereror’s palace kitchen to his personal physician. Was a huge hit all over Asia, and made it to other countries too. (I really wish there was a good DVD of this series - the one I have is badly transferred from video.)
  • Yakitate! Japan - anime series about baking bread, mostly centered around outrageous bread competitions. My review of the manga series mostly. Note that there are lots of food-themed manga in Japan, but few that became a hit as anime I think (though I could be wrong…I’m not a big anime fan in general in case you hadn’t noticed!)

So…any I’m missing? Do you agree/disagree? What are your favorites? ^_^

Also if you saw Julie & Julia, what did you think of it?

____________________________________

The Big Onigiri.

- Wherever you go, there you are. -

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bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
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Re: Your favorite food movies?

What about books Maki? Like Water for Chocolate was a good book, but I haven't seen the movie. There are a number of "chick-lit" books with food as a central character - I like Sarah-Kate Lynch's books Blessed are the Cheesemakers, By Bread Alone, Eating with the Angels, & House of Peine. They're light, but fun. And then there's always Salt, and that one about the oysters in New York.

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Bronwyn

My blog is Food and Shoes

single bento boy
Bento-ing from: › USA
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Re: Your favorite food movies?

"Big Night" belongs in the pantheon but is missing. To the weird and sometimes disgusting I'd add "Motel Hell" which gave us the quote "it takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent's fritters."

I would actually say "Mostly Martha" is my favorite food movie. The remake was nowhere nearly as good as the original, though. I liked how everyone had such real problems, but the food brought them together. I really liked it.

I finally saw Tampopo and I was dissapointed, perhaps I had it built up too much before I saw it.

maki
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Re: Your favorite food movies?

SBB, oops! I wrote Big Feast when I meant Big Night. That is in the pantheon.

I guess in the realm of weird edibles, there's also Sweeney Todd? ^_^;

Bronwyn books are a whole other topic! I've always loved books that had food and cooking in them, even (or especially) growing up. One thing I loved about the Narnia books for example is that CS Lewis always had these great descriptions of food. One I remember in particular was in The Silver Chair, where he describes a centaur's breakfast. First the centaur has to graze for an hour or so, then has to have some hot mash (or whatever horses get). Then he has to tend to his human stomach in the form of a proper breakfast with bacon, eggs, toast, coffee, etc. The character says that inviting a centaur over to stay is a very serious undertaking!

yygall
Bento-ing from: Canberra › Australia
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Re: Your favorite food movies?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Yeah, sure, it's a "kids movie", but the chocolate! and the candy! *drools* It's the first food movie that comes to mind--that's gotta mean something, right?
There are so many J-Dramas featuring food in some form that come to mind. The first was Bambino!, which follows Ban, a university student from Hakata and his experiences as an apprentice in a frantic kitchen of a popular Italian restaurant in Tokyo. Haikei, Chichiue-sama followed--it's a glimpse the life of Ippei, a senior apprentice in a ryotei in Tokyo, who has a former geisha-turned bar owner mother, and an unknown father. Then there's Osen, a much younger, exaggerated but hilariously entertaining set of stories featuring more ryotei food. Kuitan (1&2&Special) had me doubled over in laughter: it's about a personal investigator who solves mysteries...with his tastebuds. Oh, and Ryusei no Kizuna, which, after watching like one episode, led to a curiosity about Hayashi rice, and the subsequent recipe search which led me to Just Hungry... which then led to Lunch no Joou, the story about a small family restaurant in the suburbs of Tokyo.
An honorary mention to Hana Yori Dango: the dango shop, F4 lounge, and who can forget the cookies that taste of love (koi no aji)~

Jiza
Bento-ing from: Madrid › Spain
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Re: Your favorite food movies?

there's a film from argentina called "el hijo de la novia" (the bride's son). It's about a man running a restaurant while his mum has alzheimer disease and he helps his father making her happy.
The food topic there is just annecdotical, but the main character explains a GREAT recipe for pasta to a man that is interested in buying the restaurant :)

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My bento blog: http://justbento.com/blog/1305
My art blog: http://jizaacaso.deviantart.com

maki
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Re: Your favorite food movies?

The Chicago Tribune has a slide show of 'favorite food films' here. Half of those I haven't seen (and at least 2 remakes of non-English movies in there). It has Disney's Lady and the Tramp in there, which does have that great meatball spaghetti scene. There are some other Disney movies with great food scenes - the banquet scene in Beauty and the Beast, and the Les Poissons song in Little Mermaid come to mind.

Jiza
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Re: Your favorite food movies?

and ratatouille! ^^

Pat
Re: Your favorite food movies?

I've seen Tampopo, Babette’s Feast, Big Feast Night, and Chocolat, based on your recommendation. I liked them all and also Eat Drink Man Woman. I'll have to check out Like Water For Chocolate. I have a hard time finding Kamome Diner and Supermarket Woman. Netflix usually has large variety, but they don't have those movies.

Tampopo has a short s_e_x scene...in case someone plans on watching it w/ their kids.

maki
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sexy Tampopo

That is true...the sex scene in Tampopo is fairly, ehm, erotic. And weird, but anywho. (I don't think I'm a prude, but i hate watching movies with sex scenes unless I'm all alone. hahaha ^_^; I get quite embarassed!)

I guess also the scene with the oyster pearl divers is a quite suggestive too, though would go over most kids' heads.

And, I suppose the very last scene may unsettle boob-phobic people. Though I LOVE the last scene, it brings it all together.

Pat
Re: sexy Tampopo

Hahaha yep...and I saw it years ago in college but don't remember much of the movie...I guess I was half asleep then. I watched it the second time a couple months ago and was surprised, and I got the DVD from the library!

thebiganimefan
Bento-ing from: South Jersey › New Jersey › USA
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Re: Your favorite food movies?

Heh sorry, I'm late on this topic but Julie &Julia was hilarious. French cooking not Japanese but it was still great.

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Foodies do it better.

new2bento
Bento-ing from: Miami › Florida › USA
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Re: Your favorite food movies?

Just saw Julie & Julia with my hubbie. We both loved it. I thought Meryl Streep was brilliant as Julia Child. The film is sweet and all about relationships. A true girl flick but lots of fun just the same.

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new2bento

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