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Holiday List: Food Movies

Here are some recommended flicks in no particular order of preference:

  • Big Night
    Two Italian immigrant brothers try to make a go of it with an authentic restaurant in New Jersey in the late 1950's. Excellent performances by Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub. Watch for the scene where Shalhoub decides they have to make a 'tympano' to impress during a hoped-for visit from singing star Louis Prima.

  • Dinner Rush
    A new favourite food flick of mine, although it was released back in 2001. The blurbs on this one call it a cross between Big Night and The Sopranos.

  • Babette's Feast
    Quiet but moving tale of an expatriate French chef's attempt to show a group of devout Danish Lutherans how to enjoy real food.

  • Tampopo
    This is a Japanese spoof of an Italian 'spaghetti western'. You could call it, "In Search of the Perfect Bowl of Noodles".

  • Mostly Martha
    This film was made in Germany and deals with some life-changing events of a workaholic chef who is suddenly forced to care for her orphaned niece. Chefs who go crazy over people who send food back for no good reason will like this one.

  • Chocolat
    Starring Johnny Depp and Juliet Binoche, this is a fantastic tale of love and denial, all revolving around a chocolate shop in France. Alfred Molina is great as the mayor of the town who tries to shut down the shop while battling his own demons.

  • Like Water For Chocolate
    Passion and cooking come together in a very sensual tale of a woman prevented from marrying by her mother. Quite magical.

  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
    When I was a kid I always dreamt about being Charlie, the poor boy who wins a trip to the Chocolate Factory, a trip of a lifetime.

  • Eat Drink Man Woman
    Sunday dinners take on another meaning as a chef from Taipei, who has lost his sense of taste, cooks for his rebellious daughters. Lots of neat twists and turns in this one.

  • Woman on Top
    Stars a gorgeous Penelope Cruz as a Brazilian chef who escapes from a cheating husband and finds fame as the host of a TV cooking show in San Francisco. Both the food and the sets are quite colourful, with a gentle story. Like the trailer claims, 'your mouth will water'.

  • Supersize Me
    A documentary in which filmmaker Morgan Spurlock eats nothing but food from McDonald's for 30 days. It makes you think twice about ever eating fast food again…strangely, by the end of the film, I actually HAD a craving for a Big Mac.

For many more films that have something to do with food, check out an article called "The Ultimate List: 125 Movies About or Featuring Food" at http://yumfood.net/articles/screencuisine/index.html.

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