So, The Hundred-Foot Journey came out last week to much critical acclaim. The movie is vibrant and sumptuous; and the director, Lasse Hallström, films food like it is the sexiest, most beautiful thing on the planet. Movies about food range from the exotic and sensual to the dark—and even disturbing. I have to admit, it was fun coming up with a list of the best films about food. To clarify, these films are actually about food. Diner is one of the funniest movies ever. Its title implies it is about food; however, it is not, and thus doesn't make the cut. So, here is my top 10 list of the best food films I've seen:
1) Big Night, 1996
Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci star as combative brothers who come together for one night to save their failing restaurant.
2) Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 1971
Gene Wilder (not Johnny Depp in the blasphemous remake) stars as an eccentric candy magnate who opens the doors of his factory to a group of children, including the poor but honorable Charlie.
3) Chocolat, 2000
Juliette Binoche stars as a lonely woman who opens a chocolate shop in a small French town. Now, we can include Johnny Depp on the list; he plays her love interest.
4) Babette’s Feast, 1987
In this Danish film, a young housekeeper, Babette, offers to cook a feast for the repressed, regret-filled sisters for whom she works.
5) The Hundred-Foot Journey, 2014
An Indian family with their son, a gifted chef, opens a restaurant in a small French town, and challenges the local proprietor.
6) Sideways, 2004
Two dissatisfied, under-achieving men take a week-long road trip through California’s wine country.
7) My Dinner with Andre, 1981
Actor Wallace Shawn and theater director Andre Gregory share a meal and discuss the path their lives have taken.
8) Like Water for Chocolate, 1992
Tita and Pedro fall in love but are forbidden to marry. When Pedro marries Tita’s sister to be close to Tita, she discovers she has a talent for cooking.
9) Soylent Green, 1973
Charleton Heston plays a detective in Earth’s dystopian future, investigating the murder of the man in charge of the world’s food supply. In this dark future, people only have one mysterious source of nutrition: Soylent Green.
10) Eat Drink Man Woman, 1994
A chef lives with his three grown daughters and only seems to be able to communicate over their family meals.