The Best Food Films

06 Sep 2014
3 min read
We give you 10 of the best foodie films ever made…
The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

A humble and charming story of a local family restaurant coming head-to-head with a Michelin star restaurant.

Hassan Kadam – played by Manish Dayal – moves to a quaint village in the south of France with Papa – Om Puri – with the plan of opening an Indian family restaurant, only to find a Michelin star restaurant only 100 feet away, headed up by icy owner, Madame Mallory, Helen Mirren. Beneath an all-out culinary war and culture clashes, an uplifting relationship blossoms and unlikely recipes come into fruition. A feel-good must-see.

Tampopo (1985)

A Japanese ‘ramen western’.

A story of four Japanese men whose lives collide at Tampopo’s ramen shop. They work furiously to better her dish, inviting experts to give her advice. The story is peppered with eccentric foodie anecdotes throughout.

Julie and Julia (2009)

A film every foodie should know about.

Based on a true story, this film tells the tale of how culinary legend, Julia Child (Meryl Steep) influenced amateur writer Julie Powell’s (Amy Adams) to become a successful author. Powell cooks 524 recipes from Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in 365 days, and realises a dream.

Ratatouille (2007)

Only Pixar can stage a rat as a phenomenal fine-dining chef.

Tucked inside his friend Linguini’s toque, Remy the rat gives his human puppet commands in a Parisian restaurant’s kitchen, bringing him to culinary fame. When top food critic Anton Ego – whose negative tongue and pen could swipe any Parisian restaurant off the board – comes to review the restaurant, all hell (and heaven) breaks loose. A charming reflection of professional culinary woes.

Big Night (1996)

Two brothers put on a night in their failing Italian restaurant with the aim of reviving it.

Ironically called ‘Paradise’, this Americanised Italian restaurant is failing under the helm of brother duo, Primo and Tucci. Primo is a talented chef and Tucci is a wonderful restaurant manager. When a friend promises that a famous Jazz singer will sing in their restaurant for one night, the brothers jump on opportunity and organise a feast. Much to their dismay, the singer never comes. A comical tail of accepting culinary failure.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

A fantastical tail of everything a child has ever dreamed of.

Willy Wonka is an elusive sweet and chocolate maker, who works within the secret confines of his Chocolate factory. An epic competition is launched giving five lucky winners the chance to have a tour of the factory if they find a Golden Ticket in a Wonka Bar, as well as a lifetime amount of chocolate. Among four quirky and gluttonous children, Charlie Bucket – a local poor kid – wins a ticket. The factory proves to be a world of dreams, and Charlie Bucket comes out having not given in to temptation, which leaves him with a present that surpasses his dreams.

Chocolat (2002)

A heart warmer that will make you drool too.

Juliette Binoche plays a travelling chocolate expert, Vianne Rocher who opens up a shop in a little village in France. Much to the dismay of the locals, Vianne is an atheist who does not dress demurely. Through her chocolate, care and kindness, she slowly but surely befriends the village people. After a night of passion with a gypsy named Roux (Jonny Depp *swoon*), death and fire, she decides to leave. The villagers, however don’t let her and surround her with love and affection. Throughout, sumptuous chocolate is displayed. Prepare to drool. Everywhere.

Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)

A film that pushes boundaries through cooking.

With a title that’s a quote from Confusious’ ‘Book of Rites’, Eat Drink Man Woman is a Taiwanese film that investigates the clash between modernity and tradition, and East and West. Mr Chu is the father of three unmarried daughters. Every Sunday he lays on a decadent spread, and invites his family to what the daughters see as torture. They discuss matters that highlight the difference between generations. All around a dinner table.

Like Water for Chocolate (1992)

A saucy chocolatey Mexican tale.

Based on a 12 chapter novel, Like Water for Chocolate tells the sad tale of Tita’s anguish of not being allowed to marry. Bound by tradition, as the youngest daughter Tita cannot marry until after she has taken care of her mother until her death. The sorrow that Tita feels because she cannot be with her love, Pedro is only alleviated when she cooks. And cooks with emotion she does. So much so that she passes the passion she puts into her cuisine to those who eat her food. A relatively comedic and fantastical plot emerges.

Babbette’s Feast (1987)

Making sad people happy through cooking.

French Babbette (Stéphane Audran) turns up to devout Christian sisters Martine (Birgitte Federspiel) and Philippa’s (Bodil Kjer) house in a remote village in Denmark. Making bland meals for them for free for 14 years, Babbette exchanges her time and devotion for refuge from the bloody French counter-revolution. One day, Babbette wins the lottery of 10,000 Francs, and decides that she will cook a French feast for those who took her in. The feast heals wounds and frees all of those who share it, bringing happiness to the village at last.