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Your favorite food movie?

  • m

Just watched Julie and Julia last night with my oldest son. Meryl Streep, as always, was amazing, but I was disappointed in the secondary plot. (Nora Ephron's characters always seem unsympathetic to me.)

One thing that was missing, IMO, was a real love of food. I didn't come away wanting to cook something, like I do when I watch Lidia Bastianich or Jacques Pepin.

Movies about cooking, should make you hungry, don't you think?

If we were building a shelf of foodie movies, what would you suggest?

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          1. re: mountaincachers

            I agree! Like Water For Chocolate is not only a great food movie, but a great movie...inventive, sensual, mystical and edible!

          2. My favorite is Babette's Feast-
            next is Like water for Chocolate-I enoyed reading the book as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jpr54_1

              Babette's Feast.

              What a sophisticated tale.

              No Supermarkets in those days.

              A delight to watch:


            2. Julie and Julia made me cook up a storm, to the contrary! AND the dedication and passion exhibited by the Meryl Streep's portrayal of Julia Child did something much more, for me: it vindicated a passion that seems, at times, to be a "waste" of my time and education, and clashes--on occasion--with my long-standing Feminist ideology.

              The movie made me fall in love with cooking again, in fact...after a few years of "pooh poohing" my time in the kitchen as inconsequential, unimportant, too "domestic." That is wonderful, for me. I've been SO HAPPY since seeing this movie (three times ;-). I've been a wee bit broke, though, too....as it sent me off on a buying binge, as well.

              Other favorites: Babette's Feast, Big Night, Sunday in the Country (I think that's the name; a French film about an aging Monet-ish artist, and his family, all gathering to fight, bicker, love, and eat roast chicken!)...

              4 Replies
              1. re: Beckyleach

                That last, "A Sunday in the Country", by Bernard Tavernier, my favorite French/Swiss director, is an absolute delight. Thanks for reminding me of it.

                1. re: buttertart

                  With your vast knowledge maybe you can help me. Film was pre 2000 about a wedding feast in the italian countryside. Grandmothers making pasta and bread, etc, my favorite, but senior moment, you or anyone know ?

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    Doesn't ring a bell with me - not all that familar with Italian films. Sounds great though, hope you or someone else comes up with it!

                2. re: Beckyleach

                  I saw Big Night. My favorite scene is the chef's suspicion over a customer's order of pasta (she was eating a dish with risotto) and his brother remarked, "maybe she likes a lot of starch." But the dishes that were prepared to impress a food critic were wonderful.

                3. Spanglish is always a favorite of mine.. They made that egg sandwich look so good, not mention it was filmed at the French Laundry..

                  1. While not a movie about food per se, Fatso (with Dom Deluise and Anne Bancroft) will have you hungry by the end.

                    1. The dearest ones to me are Big Night and Babette's Feast.

                      But we need some shocking and morbid takes on the theme, the following all involving cannibalism (and regular food to a greater or lesser degree):

                      1. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
                      2. Delicatessen
                      3. And why not Sweeny Todd, to boot?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Bada Bing

                        Love "The cook the thief his wife & her lover" - Great movie!

                      2. Ratatouille deserves mention.

                        It got Mr. Shallots interested in cooking when Babette's Feast and others with real food only got him more interested in eating, but not so much the cooking side of it.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: shallots

                          I think what it is about that one, is that it's about the love of the act, not the food. That's why Ratatouille tops my personal list. That movie is about people who love to cook, not showing food porn. I can see where it would get his attention.

                          1. re: Nocturnalbill

                            Not only does Ratatouille show people who love to cook, but it's a perfect portrayal of what it means to be a passionate artist of any kind. I very seldom get even a little choked up in a movie, but Ratatouille has at least three scenes that do that to me every time.

                          2. re: shallots

                            Mine would be Ratatouille, hands down.

                            I've seen Babette's Feast and don't understand why people love it as a food movie...

                            Eat Drink Man Woman has great food scenes that are both delicious and endearing, but the ending is just too contrived for my liking.

                            1. re: yfunk3

                              Tampopo is good. It's a Japanese "noodle western." 1986-ish. Very worth renting.

                              1. re: MartinDC

                                Tampopo is a great food movie. Japanese spaghetti western.

                            2. re: shallots

                              mines definitely rataouille! i love that movie.

                              1. re: shallots

                                For me it HAS to be Ratatouille - a movie that celebrates both rats and cooking, AND named after one of my favorite dishes.

                              2. As most of my favorites were already mentioned, I'll toss out "Artois the Goat" for your consideration.

                                It is an indy that was filmed in and around Austin and centers on the quest for making the perfect goat cheese. A bit uneven, but I enjoyed it and am not ashamed to recommend it.

                                Like many others, I loved the Julia part of Julie and Julia. Streep nailed our Ms. Child.

                                I enjoyed Ratatoullie also. "Anyone can cook."

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: DoobieWah

                                  Artois the Goat was one of the films Netflix suggested to me. I reached it on my queue last week - never having heard of it, and in view of the title, I expected French, with subtitles. So I was surprised that it's as American as Cheez Whiz. Enjoyed it - especially the unbelievably cute Artois, although they could just as well, and more logically, have made him a her.

                                  Only linked to this thread by the thinnest filament, I also watched the engrossing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. (The lead actress locks onto you with her intense eyes and never lets go - absorbing plotline too.) The Swedish characters did very little eating but I noticed that there was a bottle of Heinz ketchup. A friend and I watch New Scandinavian Cooking for laughs, because it's so odd to see the host cooking outdoors in unlikely places and because most of the dishes seem very unappealing. My friend sums up Scandinavian cuisine thusly: "No wonder the Vikings left.".

                                2. "Mostly Martha" - a great German film turned into a horrible American one called "No Reservations". "Secret of the Grain" is another good one...makes you hungry for couscous. "Big Night" is definitely one of the best - I have often been tempted to order pasta with my risotto just to see if the waiter reacts.

                                  1. Coincidentally, I'm re-watching Tampopo right now. So wonderful, so enticing!
                                    I also love Big Night. And Julie & Julia, tho not the best, (except for Meryl), did make me make that fried bruschetta several times last summer.

                                    I saw a new movie yesterday, called Today's Special. Indian young man living in NY, a sous chef, wants to be in the big leagues, not connected to his roots, has to take over his father's ailing Indian food restaurant and of course, everyone learns a lot of life lessons and he gets the girl. YAWN. There was also the standard older sage dropping pearls of wisdom who saved the day but who taught the young man that he had it in him all along. I think it was an indie-type film, but really just very predictable hollywood crap. tho it did make us hungry.

                                    I LOVE the documentary "I Like Killing Flies" about diner owner Kenny Shopsin, in Manhattan. Fascinating guy, family, story. Made me hungry too. Made me go visit his place in its newer digs on my last trip to NYC, and was not disappointed in the experience! Had the macaroni and cheese pancakes - YUM.

                                    1. First place: Like Water for Chocolate

                                      Second place: The Big Chill

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: taos

                                        Must say, I have seen all the movies in this thread and enjoyed them all for different reasons. My personal favorite is not a food movie as such, but the oyster scene in the original Tom Jones is a personal favorite. Going to find my partner, a bottle of wine and oysters as we speak.

                                      2. This is going to sound VERY unconventional, but my favorite food movie is Alfred Hitchcock's "Frenzy".

                                        The lead detective inspector's wife serving him all those cockamamy recipes from her French cooking classes while they're discussing this horrific murder case throughout the movie always has me in stitches.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Breezychow

                                          Ooh, that reminded me of Atom Egoyan's "Felicia's Journey" - as a boy, the serial killer was traumatized by his overbearing mother's television cooking show. love it.

                                        2. Someone above mentioned Eat Drink Man Woman.

                                          It is currently available for streaming from Netflix.

                                          Watched it this weekend and the food is awesome.

                                          1. Movies with great food scenes/background

                                            Fried Green Tomatoes
                                            Under the Tuscan Sun
                                            Letters to Juliette (OK minor food but made we want to go to Italy and eat nonetheless)
                                            Waitress (wanted any kind of pie after)
                                            Tortilla Soup
                                            Woman on Top
                                            War of the roses

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: hannah

                                              I loved Tortilla Soup! I have the sound track. It's better, IMO, than the original Eat Drink Man Woman, but I guess it depends on which cuisine is familiar and homey for you. For me, it was the food in Tortilla Soup!

                                            2. I watched a new foodie comedy movie on Encore Channel (On Demand - Comcast) tonight that is called "Osso Bucco." It was pretty funny. All the same old tired movies get mentioned in these threads that are frequently posted on all food boards for some reason. It was good to watch a new one! It was similar in some ways to "Dinner Rush," which I also liked. More cooking in Dinner Rush, but Osso Bucco is about only one dish, after all!

                                              1. Goodfellas. In particular the scene when Henry is locked up with Paulie and they have steaks and lobsters and pasta and wine and salami and cheese brought to their cell where they cook and they dine.

                                                "Vinnie was in charge of the tomato sauce.
                                                Get that smell?
                                                Three kinds of meat in the meatballs: veal, beef, and pork.
                                                You got to have pork. That's the flavor.
                                                I felt he used too many onions, but it was still a very good sauce.
                                                Don't put too many onions in the sauce."

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: Chinon00

                                                  And he shaved the garlic with a razor blade? And Karen smuggled in food for him - including a baguette in her coat?

                                                  And they had a red & a white wine....

                                                  1. re: jenscats5

                                                    .....and Paulie says, "now we can eat!" Paulie elsewhere in the movie, "Ok, everybody, let's eat." Then from The Godfather, the classic "leave the gun, take the cannoli." Many more food references in both movies.

                                                    1. re: James Cristinian

                                                      "Hey, come over here kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for twenty guys someday. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, ya fry it, ya make sure it doesn't stick. You get it to a boil, you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs. And a little bit of wine. And a little bit of sugar, and that's my trick."

                                                  2. re: Chinon00

                                                    That scene is so great because it just comes out of nowhere. A really entertaining jailhouse cooking lesson in the middle of a mobster movie.

                                                    I tried to shave garlic for pasta sauce with a razor blade after I saw that scene. This is probably 100% psychological but I thought the sauce came out a lot better than usual.

                                                  3. Jean de Florette, and Manon of the Spring, companion french films. High impact.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                      Those are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful films, but I don't remember food in them particularly. The declaration of love in Manon, yes. Food, where? Must see them again.

                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                        She was a goat herder, totally and innocently involved, as he watched, drunk on wine.

                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                          Were there cooking or eating scenes? I don't recall any, not that that necessarily means there weren't any.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            The goats were innocent; the people less so.

                                                    2. Eat, Drink, Man, Woman
                                                      Mostly Martha
                                                      Tortilla Soup (remake of EDMW)
                                                      Dinner Rush
                                                      The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (ending is fab)
                                                      Julie and Julia
                                                      Big Night
                                                      Plus, dinner scenes in several other movies.