This year hasn’t been the easiest for food lovers. The coronavirus pandemic has put a halt on our visits to our favorite eateries and even ordering food online doesn’t feel safe anymore. There’s still some time to go before things normalize, and until then, we will have to depend on our imagination and our own cooking skills to stimulate our taste buds. Well, there’s another alternative as well. We have prepared a list of some of the best food-centric films that are sure to give you hunger pangs.
These food-related movies tell stories of families, relationships, and life experiences, with food often serving as an important plot point. Take a look at these films to be immersed in the world of chocolate, Italian food, and Japanese noodles. We guarantee that by the end of this feast, you will be salivating for foods that you didn’t even know you liked.
Even if you don’t love chocolate, you are bound to be enamored with it once you’ve watched ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’. Based on the famous Roald Dahl children's novel ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, this delightful story is about a sweet boy named Charlie from a poor family who gets an opportunity to tour the magical chocolate factory of Willy Wonka, an eccentric genius, when he finds a golden ticket hidden inside a chocolate bar wrapper.
Charlie, along with five other children, then embark on this wondrous adventure of chocolate rivers, chocolate rooms, chocolate rides, and other incredible delights that tests each of their greed while giving the audience a serious case of chocolate cravings.
This Japanese comedy is the tale of a widow who dreams of opening the ultimate noodle bar and two milk-truck drivers who help her achieve that goal. 'Tampopo' is a hilarious tale that deliciously intertwines various vignettes about the relationship between love and food. Introduced as a ‘Ramen Western’, the film is outwardly preposterous but still works and manages to tickle our funny bone while also giving us hunger pangs. As the two men learn how to cook great noodles, we get the chance to see a rare and authentic display of a variety of delicious noodle recipes that you will be itching to try.
Based on the story by Isak Dinesen, 'Babette’s Feast' is a delectable fable for culinary France. Set in the late 19th century in a remote Danish village, the story is about Babette, a French refugee from the Franco-Prussian War, who has been taken in by a strict religious community as a servant to the late pastor's daughters.
Babette loves cooking and is an accomplished chef. However, for 14 years, she is forced to cook bland food that the daughters of the family are used to eating. Things change when one day, Babette wins a large amount of money in a lottery and decides to cook a lavish banquet in an attempt to entice the family that looks down on such fleshly joys as fine foods and wines. Little do they know, however, that Babette has spent all of her winnings on preparing the luxurious, once-in-a-lifetime feast.
Babette’s Feast was the first Danish film to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and is a true delight for food enthusiasts.
'Mystic Pizza' charts the lives and loves of three teenage girls who work at a pizza parlor in the Connecticut town of Mystic. Julia Roberts stars as one of the girls who, along with her sister and her best friend, form a terrific trio. As the three grapple with the vagaries of their life and make plans for escaping their small town, delicious pizzas in various forms remain in the background, quietly enticing us. It’s a compelling and delightful little film that showcased many future stars delivering brilliant performances. But make sure you order a large slice of pizza before you start watching the film. You simply can’t get through it without wanting some!
‘Big Night’ is for anyone who is missing trips to their favorite Italian restaurant. The story is about Chef Primo and businessman Secondo, two immigrant brothers from Italy who open their dream restaurant, Paradise, in New Jersey. Unfortunately, Primo's authentic food isn’t received well by the locals, and the restaurant struggles. While businessman Secondo wants to give the public what they want, Primo wants nothing to change and believes in the food he makes. They are given an opportunity when famous Italian-American bandleader Louis Prima is scheduled to appear at the restaurant. Now, the two brothers must bury their differences and prepare a meal that would please the celebrated singer and may also decide the fate of their restaurant.
Big Night, while being a terrific comedy, also features an array of delectable Italian foods that will tickle your taste buds.
A list of films based on food cannot be complete without including ‘Chocolat’. The film is about a single mother Vianne Rocher and her six-year-old daughter who, after moving to rural France in the 1960s, open a little chocolate shop. The shop is located across the street from the local church and the mother-daughter duo is initially faced with skepticism. However, the two manage to entice the townspeople into enjoying their delicious products and are eventually welcomed into the community.
The film is beautifully shot, presenting rural France as it's rarely been seen before in cinema. It also has a charming story that gives a lovely message about acceptance. The wide assortment of chocolate featured in the film only makes the experience that much more scrumptious.
This is the most recent film on the list, but it deserves a place simply because of how excellent it is. ‘Julie & Julia’ gives a fascinating look at the life of culinary icon Julia Child (played remarkably well by the brilliant Meryl Streep). Her tale is told by way of flashbacks and is intertwined with the present-day story of New York City blogger Julie Powell who has embarked on a quest to prepare all 524 recipes in Julia Childs' landmark cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Separated by time and space, the lives of both women are shown to be connected by a feeling of fearlessness and a passion for food.
‘Julie & Julia’ is held together by powerful performances, a unique story, and an assortment of appetizing treats that are sure to make you feel like running towards the kitchen and preparing a fancy meal for yourself.
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