Monday, July 20, 2009

Foodie Films

Yes, we did make Sunday dinner this week, but I couldn't find my iPhone, so I took pictures on a regular digital camera. Since I don't actually know how to get the pictures off the camera, the Sunday blog will be a little delayed. Still, being food obsessed, the eating continues even if the writing is a bit slow. Why can't they make cameras that just move pictures from the camera to the computer through bluetooth magic?

Liana's food obsession is leading to her quest for more books like Trails of Crumbs and Julie and Julia. Her newest book find is I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti. I love to read too, but it's less work to watch a DVD so I'm constantly looking for food films. Some of my favorites:
  • Like Water for Chocolate based on the book by Laura Esquivel. Tita is in love with Pedro, but her controlling mother forbids her from marrying him. When Pedro instead marries her sister, Tita throws herself into her cooking -- and discovers she can transfer her emotions through the food she prepares. This one's steamy, so wait until the kids are asleep. Spanish, with English subtitles.
  • Chocolat Johnny Depp is dreamy as a traveling gypsy, but Juliette Binoche, the single parent that comes into this conservative French village to open a chocolate shop during Lent, is the one that really stirs the pot.
  • Eat, Drink Man Woman Distracted by their complicated love lives and secret ambitions, three adult sisters reluctantly humor their widower father by enduring the elaborate, traditional Taiwanese dinners he insists on having every Sunday. The story of these three adult women and their father is very endearing, but the father's creation of these Sunday feasts are what really make this film worth watching. Chinese with English subtitles.
  • Tortilla Soup with Hector Elizondo as the widower, is the same story as Eat, Drink Man Woman, just the American version. Same story, but Mexican food versus Chinese food. It's still beautiful food, although I prefer the Chinese version.
  • Mostly Martha An uptight professional chef, Martha, finds her world turned upside down when she takes in her newly orphaned niece, Lina, who is not impressed by her aunt's cooking. Martha is obsessed with her food and is a control freak who verbally attacks anyone who tries to send her food back. German with English subtitles.
  • No Reservations is the American version of Mostly Martha. Kate, the control freak chef, is played by Catherine Zeta Jones. I like this version as much as I like the original.
  • Big Night I think this is actually Ken's favorite foodie film. Despite having a talented chef and outstanding cuisine, an Italian restaurant run by two brothers (Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub) teeters on the verge of bankruptcy. It's then they learn a huge star will visit their bistro for a multicourse meal. With everything to lose, the brothers pull out all the stops hoping the "big night" will save their trattoria.
  • Tampopo Tampopo follows a young widow who runs a small noodle restaurant in Tokyo and Goro, a cowboy hat-wearing truck driver, as they attempt to concoct the perfect bowl of ramen. Japanese with English subtitles. (This one is a bit hard to get your hands on, but if you own the DVD, I will buy it from you.)
  • Ramen Girl When her boyfriend leaves her high and dry in Tokyo, spoiled American tourist Abby (Brittany Murphy) finds solace in a neighborhood ramen noodle house run by a cantankerous old chef (Toshiyuki Nishida), who agrees to take her on as an apprentice cook. Truthfully, Brittany Murphy bugs me. She's got duck lips and she always plays spoiled, shallow girls (Uptown Girls), but I was surprised with this one. It went beyond my expectations.
  • Ratatouille this animated film by Pixar is about Remy, a rat who loves to cook. Cute, fun and the Pixar people actually had French chefs creating recipes for the film so that the food would be authentic.

2 comments:

  1. fyi - there is a bluetooth card that you can buy. pricey. but for you it might be worth it.
    another fyi - just finished reading A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. Loved it. and i need to return your Julie and Julia book.

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  2. Ooh! Another book to read! I'm reading Comfort Food by that lady that wrote Friday Night Knitting Club. Pure fluff, but I'm loving it too.

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