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 -
- 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.
- 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. -