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List: Film DVD Corner -- FOOD related films worthy of HONOURABLE mention


The CULINARY world plus great ACTORS...
a formula for viewing success.

source: clipartheaven.com

Today I wondered...
will one of my very favourite films of the year
win an 'Oscar' this coming March 7th?

 
Like so many other ' Foodies ' out there...
I, too am cheering for the brilliantly told story of...
 'Julie and Julia'.
There is no actress better suited for the role of Julia Child than Meryl Streep. She was nothing short of brilliant. Her mannerisms and expressions brought it all back for me. Julia Child was still somehow alive and helping us become better cooks in our kitchens!
Amy Adams also could not have played her part portraying Julie Powell...any less vividly. Thanks to her part in it...the told story of these two women and their fine patient and loving 'hubbies' was what fueled such a great film!

Also, not to mention how part of the movie
brought out the vicarious travel bug in me.



A reality trip taken in
Paris, France...
September 2009











Trotting along some very popular but also some quaint, lesser known streets!



 










It was so wonderful to visualize Paris in all its splendour.








 




 
Of course...not to lessen the importance of the usual gourmet treats!!!







 




The film 'Julie and Julia' had a quadruple and very deep fulfilling meaning for me also.
.For one, I was enjoying this lovely true story with my Mom :))
.Secondly, the last time I was in Paris was in 1988...where I was young and impressionable. At that time, I had taken the city of Paris slightly for granted...and did not realize the sheer greatness of it all.  How fortunate was I really?  What better place to be transported in all the glory of this fantastic European city?
.Thirdly, and most importantly...was that this past September of 2009...my 'hubby' and I had a mini-vacation planned for...you guessed it...PARIS.  Strangely, this accidental coincidence had absolutely nothing to do with the movie.  We were visiting family in Italy and figured why not combine Paris in our travel plans.  Soooo glad I thought of doing so.
Some of the photos above were just a very tiny peek at our little romantic adventure.
.The fourth pivitol meaningful moment...was...the birth of my culinary journal...Foodessa.  After all, it was this movie that swayed my very busy existence to begin a project I was itching and probably subconsciously aching to do.

I really am so grateful to films of this calibre.
In so many inexplicable ways...
it has changed a small segment of my life.

Without some past and present great FOOD related films...
who knows how long it would have taken me to put my passion
for the culinary universe out there for everyone to share with me.
***
In some of these great food related films...
the CULINARY world and great ACTORS unite.




Here are the many other past FOOD related films
worthy of HONOURABLE mention too.


Below are the links to pages emphasizing films dedicated to:
Foodie Romance films...click here for the list:
Foodie Chocolate inspired films...click here for the list:


Here are the remaining films not mentioned in the above categories:
Usually I start this LIST of FILMS alphabetically.
However, for this time,
I have decided to put the nominated film for the upcoming Oscars first.




JULIE and JULIA

[2009] ... Running time: 123 min.
* General Review Rating... 3.5 /5

(My personal rating: 4.5 /5)
Between the beauty of Paris in the 50s‘
...and one of my all time favorite ’personalities’
...how could I not be entertained by this film?!!
Meryl Streep was fantasticly realistic in portraying Ms. Child.
Well blended story of the old and the new.
I felt myself absolutely relating to Julie Powell as she juggled life,
amusement and the challenges our daily routine brings to our plate!)

Summary: Nora Ephron adapts Julie Powell's autobiographical book Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen with this Columbia Pictures production starring Amy Adams as an amateur chef who decides to cook every recipe in a cookbook from acclaimed celebrity chef Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep) in order to chronicle it in a blog over the course of a year. Streep's Devil Wears Prada co-star Stanley Tucci re-teams with the actress as Child's husband. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, All Movie Guide
Viewers had their say:
. Very funny, touching film. A delightful film that manages to successfully weave two separate storylines together seamlessly. Nora Ephron's screenplay is filled with many funny and clever scenes and the actors also do an excellent job of sweeping us in with these characters. Meryl Streep does an excellent job playing Julia Child (who, to be honest, I know next-to-nothing about), making her a likable personality and the chemistry with Stanley Tucci is perfect. She gives an hilarious job and she feels like a real person, a testament to both Streep's acting abilities and Ephron's writing. However, there were times when the Child segments did start to drag and I wanted in to return to my favourite section of the film, featuring Amy Adams as Julie Powell. Adams is one of those actresses who lights up the screen every time the camera is on her and that's no different here. She handles both the comedic and dramatic scenes with ease, as we see her wrestle through Child's cookbook. She describes herself as a "b---h" at one point in the film, but I at no point felt that. Adams makes Powell a likable character and you're definitely rooting for her all the way through. Nonetheless, both of these storylines are well realised and as one review I read said, this is "food porn" at its highest as I could practically smell the food through the screen (even though I don't like butter, sorry). --- by: estefan...zip.ca



BIG NIGHT

[1996] ...Running Time: 109 mins
* General Review Rating... 4/5

Summary: In this witty drama, a pair of brothers debate integrity versus compromise as they try to succeed in the restaurant business. Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and Secondo (Stanley Tucci) have journeyed from Italy to New Jersey in the mid-1950s, determined to make a killing with an authentic Italian restaurant, The Paradise. But their food is a bit too authentic; Primo may prepare a superb risotto, but most of his customers are wondering why they can't get a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Secondo tries to convince his brother not to berate the customers for requesting more "American" dishes, but Primo stands firm. Meanwhile, Pascal (Ian Holm), another local restaurateur, is doing great business with "Italian style" food the brothers wouldn't bother to spit on. Despite Primo's refusal to change his recipes to cater to lowbrow tastes, Secondo goes to Pascal begging for advice. With The Paradise on its last legs, Pascal offers to help -- Louis Prima, the famous Italian-American bandleader, is coming to town, and Pascal is to arrange a banquet in his honor. He'll stage the banquet at The Paradise in the hopes that Prima and his entourage (and hopefully the accompanying press) will fall in love with the authentic food and sing the praises of the foundering restaurant as he tours the country. The preparations for the big night and the behind-the-scenes family drama that ensues is highlighted by a strong supporting cast of Minnie Driver, Isabella Rossellini, and Allison Janney. Stanley Tucci, who plays Secondo, co-directed with Campbell Scott, who has a small but memorable role as a car salesman. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
Viewers had their say:
. A Feast of Performances...I absolutely loved this film. Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub are simply outstanding in this picture, as is all the supporting cast. I thought the performance by the Cadillac salesman was delightful, he was perfect for the role and carried it off as if he'd been born to selling. A story of brotherhood and love, of passion for what one believes in, of quiet strength in the face of bad odds. This one won't leave you cheering at the end but, like the good meal served on the Big Night, will leave you feeling utltimately satiated with that feeling that all can be well with the world. Highly recommended. --by: Chops...zip.ca




Dinner Game [THE]
‘Le diner de cons’

[1998] ... Running time: 72 min.
* General Review Rating... 3.5 /5

Summary: From the creator of La cage aux folles comes a tasty comedy of (table) manners. Pierre and his snobbish friends enjoy a cruel tradition, hosting dinner parties and seeing who can bring dullest, most idiotic guest. Pierre is confident he has found a real champion in Francois, an accountant whose favorite hobby is making matchstick models of famous tourist attractions. But the tables turn when Pierre gets stuck in his apartment for the weekend with Francois, and is forced to dine on his just desserts.
Viewers had their say:
. French Comedy ...I'm not a fan of French comedies, so it took forever to see this one. I really laughed outloud which is something I do rarely in movies. The poor "con"... it's painful to watch him (you cringe at moments), but at the same time he's a delight with such pure intentions, how can you hate him. Thierry Lhermitte is the self assured pompous ass, and he does it perfectly. As French comedies go, one of the best I've seen! --- By: Joolz ...zip.ca
. Fall down funny! ...I rarely watch French comedies because I am not a fan of their humor, but Le Dîner de cons is one of the best comedies I have ever seen, american-french-british, confounded! It tells the story of a dinner where you are supposed to invite the biggest moron you can find. The dinner never takes place but the inviter and the invitee end up in an apartment and comedy ensues. --- By: Cricri7 ...zip.ca



DINNER RUSH

[2000-2001] ... Running time: 99 min.
* General Review Rating... 3.5 /5



(My personal rating 3.5 /5 ...
Definitely for the food-obsessed enthusiast)

Summary: Music may be the food of love, but a group of gangsters are singing a very different tune at a fancy New York dining room in this dark comedy. Louis (Danny Aiello) is the owner of an upscale restaurant in New York's Tribeca district where his son Udo (Edoardo Ballerini) has become the head chef. Udo's exotic recipes have made the restaurant the talk of the town and very profitable as well, though Louis confesses that he can't stand Udo's cooking. Louis has another son, Duncan (Kirk Acevedo), who runs with a bad crowd; Louis finds out just how bad they are one night when they stop by to dine, with Duncan in tow, informing Louis that his son owes them quite a bit of money and they aren't leaving until they're given part ownership of the restaurant -- or else someone will be killed. Dinner Rush was directed by Bob Giraldi, a noted director of commercials and music videos who also enjoyed success as a restaurateur. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
Viewers had their say:
. Wow, what a treat! Dinner Rush entertains on several levels.
If it were only a behind-the-scenes documentary about a busy evening at an upscale restaurant, it would be worth the price of admission. When you add wonderful acting and blend in a crime thriller, Dinner Rush becomes a piece de resistance.
Danny Aiello sets the tone: he's composed, steady, always a gentleman. That he remains so calm in the face of what is happening in his restaurant--he's the eye of the hurricane--is explained by the ending.
The tension begins to build as we see the kitchen and wait staff prepare for what's going to be a busy evening. How the waiters present and clear the meals moving quickly and smoothly up and down a narrow staircase to the kitchen gives me new appreciation of their professionalism.
The dinners arrive: an imperious New York Times food critic, a pompous art critic and his entourage, two thugs who want to muscle in on the restaurant, and a city detective and his wife. Then the lights go off, but Sean the bartender keeps the patrons loose and laughing. It's simply one superb performance after another.
Dinner Rush is a movie that'll have you coming back for seconds. -- by: Firsttimereviewer
 


Eat Drink Man Woman


[1994] Running Time: 124 mins
* General Review Rating... 3.5/5

Summary: Director Ang Lee's follow-up to his surprise box-office hit The Wedding Banquet is another look at ethnic and sexual conflicts in a Chinese family, with meals as a centerpiece of the film. Master chef Chu (Sihung Lung) is a long-time widower who lovingly cooks large Sunday dinners for his three daughters, who view the meals as too traditional. Secretly, however, successful airline executive Jia-Chien (Chien-Lien Wu) loves traditional cooking and would like to be a chef like her father, if women were permitted to do so. Her older sister Jia-Jen (Kuei-Mei Yang) is unmarried and cynical about men, but she becomes attracted to a volleyball coach and eventually pursues him vigorously. The youngest daughter, Jia-Ning (Yu-Wen Wang), is a college student who becomes pregnant from her frequent sexual escapades. As the film progresses, the personal relationships between the daughters and their significant others change unexpectedly. ~ Michael Betzold, All Movie Guide
Viewers had their say:
. This film will make you hungry as well as it feeds your soul. A good instrospective film on inter-family relationships in a changing culture - the differences in generational beliefs and customs as they sometimes clash then find gentle compromise is touching. It is more than just a glimpse of another way of life, it shows how families are the same all over this world. well written, the acting is poignant, a film you will never forget and are apt to watch many times over. Even those who do not normally enjoy subtitled theater have been impressed by this masterpiece. Just have your take-out menu ready... -- by: Meg Y....zip.ca


FRIED GREEN TOMATOES



[1991]... Running Time: 137 min.
* General Review Rating... 4 /5
Note: This movie is inclusive only because of the charm of Southern cooking which is  touched upon when enjoying such a good story.
(My personal rating 4 /5)
Summary: A woman learns the value of friendship as she hears the story of two women and how their friendship shaped their lives in this warm comedy-drama. Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates) is an emotionally repressed housewife with a habit of drowning her sorrows in candy bars. Her husband Ed (Gailard Sartain) barely acknowledges her existence, and while he visits his aunt at a nursing home every week, Evelyn is not permitted to come into the room because the old women doesn't like her. One week, while waiting out Ed's visit, Evelyn meets Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy), a frail but feisty old woman who lives at the same nursing home and loves to tell stories. Over the span of several weeks, she spins a whopper about one of her relatives, Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson). Back in the 1920s, Idgie was a sweet but fiercely independent woman with her own way of doing things who ran the town diner in Whistle Stop, Alabama. Idgie was very close to her brother Buddy (Chris O'Donnell), and when he died, she wouldn't talk to anyone except Buddy's girl, Ruth Jamison (Mary-Louise Parker). Idgie gave Ruth a job at the cafe after she left her abusive husband, Frank Bennett (Nick Searcy). Between her habit of standing up for herself, standing up to Frank, and serving food to Black people out the back of the diner, Idgie raised the ire of the less tolerant citizens of Whistle Stop, and when Frank mysteriously disappeared, many locals suspected that Idgie, Ruth, and their friends may have been responsible. Evelyn finds herself looking forward to her weekly visits with Ninny, and is inspired by her story to take a new pride in herself and assert her independence from Ed. Fried Green Tomatoes was based on the novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by actress-turned-author Fannie Flagg, who makes a cameo appearance as the leader of a self-help group. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide
Viewers had their say:
. Fried Green Tomatoes is A Hit! There possibly isn't a better movie than Fried Green Tomatoes. The plot surrounds two women who meet in a nursing home and then it goes on to tell the tale of two Southern women who find that they have so much in common and form a friendship that not even death can break.
This is definitely a "CHICK FLICK", however, it is also a really feel good movie.
I totally recommend watching it and making it one to keep in the stacks! -- By: Redmatt24...zip.ca




GOD OF COOKERY (THE)



[1996] ... Running time:
* General Review Rating... 3.5 /5

Summary: Fans of the Iron Chef and kung-fu films may enjoy this flamboyant and outrageous comedy starring flamboyant Hong Kong funnyman Stephen Chiau. Shifting tones from surreal to hilarious and often combining both as the film progresses, its schizophrenic sensibilities and irreverent humor lend to its bizarre kung-fu film meets master chef film story line. Though the film parodies many standard elements and characterizations present in Hong Kong films, viewers need not be familiar with these staples to enjoy the film's absurd and razor sharp humor. Chiau plays the character of the overwhelmingly despicable and weasely God of Cookery to the hilt, gaining power-mad pleasure by humiliating and embarrassing any and all whose culinary skills he sees as lesser (or greater for that matter) than his own, until his inevitable fall from grace after a shady business deal. Playing the role of a pathetic has-been with equal zeal, Chiau actually manages to mold the previous monster into a sympathetic has-been, making his efforts to regain his rightful title an amusing and hilarious uphill battle. The final exhilarating culinary face-off -- in which he struggles against his former protégé turned backstabbing adversary -- must be seen to be believed, becoming a hyper-stylized battle in which egos flare and spatulas fly. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
Viewers had their say:
. Stephen Chow is the god of Comedy! Well i finally bought this movie and it was like 2 days before zip.ca emailed me saying that they have added it to their list =(. I feel kind of bad now cause they are adding it and I will no longer be renting it. Anyways to the review.
I want to say first off that i loved this movie. Its basically a spoof of Iron Chef which im sure most people have heard of if not its an asian cooking show that can be seen on the cooking network. Stephen Chow starts out as the reigning god of cookery until someone ends up defeating him and the movie basically goes from there. There are tons of funny parts in this movie which i would rather not spoil, and for anyone who has seen Kung Fu Hustle there are some similarities in this movie. I enjoyed this movie from start to finish and recommend it to just about anyone. --thedon...zip.ca





TAMPOPO

[1986]... Running time: 114min.
* General Review Rating... 4 /5

Summary: The sophomore directorial effort from ill-fated Japanese filmmaker Juzo Itami, Tampopo is an off-beat comedy featuring several intersecting stories all related to food. Tsutomu Yamazaki plays Goro, a truck driver who helps a young widow named Tampopo (Nobuko Miyamoto) improve her noodle restaurant. Over the course of the film, the story drifts around, not only following the stories of Tampopo, her son, and Goro, but also a number of customers who come through the diner, including an old woman (Izumi Hara) who insists on squeezing the cheese at a market and a criminal (Ken Watanabe) with a food-based kink. Tampopo was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 1988 Independent Spirit Awards. ~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide
Viewers had their say:
. The Greatest Food Movie of All Time. In order for a film to fit into my idea of a "food movie," it has to have at least three things: cooking, eating, and sex. Having those three things puts it automatically into the wider category of movies that celebrate life. I would have to say that is the most spiritual thing I can think of. Therefore, food movies are highly spiritual, even if they have no mention of a god whatsoever.
I don't remember if Tampopo mentions a god, but it has a lot of eating-eating one can feel. That's because it allows the viewer to hear and see the eating up close. I never wanted noodle soup more in my entire life. Too bad there were no Pho shops in my neighborhood.
Every time I see a noodle soup shop, I think of Tampopo. That was pretty brilliant of them. Pho shop owners should all have shrines.
Tampopo is an intelligent and subtle comedy about food and its place in Japanese culture. Goro and Gun, two cowboy-like semi drivers, get hungry while reading a book about noodles and go in the noodle restaurant of Tampopo, who just can't run a profit because she can't cook well enough. Goro takes it upon herself to train her in the ways of noodles (in a hilarious spin-off of "training" scenes in sports movies, and the "noble vegabond" stereotypes as well).
This is interwoven with numerous other clips about food, some of which are bizarre (featuring a couple who mixes sex and food a little too much) and some of which are funny and inspired (such as a charm teacher trying to teach her pupils not to sip their pasta). There is a lot of kind-hearted satire here, and most arrows hit their mark.
This is a movie about the celebration of food, and food has always been closely associated with life. I tend to subscribe to the belief that food complexes and psychoses belie a hatred of life at some level.
There is something absolutely wonderful about the idea of a group of people utterly dedicated to finding the perfect way to cook noodles. --Allee



TORTILLA SOUP



[2001]... Running time: 103 min.
* General Review Rating... 4 /5

Summary: A remake of Ang Lee's family comedy Eat Drink Man Woman, Maria Ripoli's Hispanic-American ensemble feature set in Southern California about a veteran chef named Martin Naranjo (Hector Elizondo), who is slowly losing his sense of taste. He has three daughters, all of whom have chosen different paths. There is Letitia (Elizabeth Pena), the oldest and most repressed of the bunch, a rigid schoolteacher who is a member of the Christian faith. His youngest, Maribel (Tamara Mello), is the most assured, though plagued by doubts. His middle daughter Carmen (Jacqueline Obradors) is most like him and shares his taste for cooking, but has chosen a career as a corporate consultant, which makes for a more secure lifestyle. She is offered a high-profile job in Barcelona, which causes a rift in the family setting. Maribel soon finds herself drawn to a handsome Brazilian student (Nikolai Kinski), and Letitia is gaining affection for Orlando (Paul Rodriguez), an awkward ballplayer whom her students have sent mistaken love letters to without her knowing. Also at their dinners are a shy single mother (Constance Marie) and her obnoxious mother (Raquel Welch), who has her sights set on Martin's affections. Tortilla Soup is Maria Ripoli's second major feature, after her whimsical 1998 feature Twice Upon a Yesterday. ~ Jason Clark, All Movie Guide
Viewers had their say:
. I had heard of this film..and decided to view it. A 'wonderful surprise.' Great storyline..Papa Martin (Hector E.) was the PERFECT star. A great chef..losing his sense of 'taste'..and some of the food prepartion scenes made me drool for Tex-Mex cooking. Se lo que me gusta (I know what I like). His 3 daughters were so different..in their demeanors and lifestyle goals..and Raquel Welch..as the sultry mama of one of his neighbors was also the 'perfect choice' for her chosen portrayal. If more women would 'not let themselves go' at her age..and try to remain attractive..many divorcees and widows would have better luck attracting a mate. This film examines the highs and lows of a familiy relationship between a devoted father and his 3 adult daughters..and some scenes were very sad..while others were extremely heartwarming. Terrific flick..and I've recommended it to several friends! Muchos gracias! --By: Jeff S.



Well, for now...
this is the end of the road.
Tune in for updates as more...
Food Documentaries are reviewed.
If I've missed a movie you've seen...
and it received very good ratings...
please do not hesitate to share it with us.

Help me keep this list as updated as possible...greatly appreciated.

Has any one of these films piqued your curiosity?
Is it enough to make your 'MUST SEE' list?


Flavourful wishes and happy viewing,
Foodessa
Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com



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