After the highly successful first season of The Bear, the second “course” arrived in June, and it was so delicious that it has to be mentioned among the best of the year, and of recent years. But the combination of gastronomy and cinema is by no means new, let’s look at the best examples!
In Lasse Halström’s classic Chocolat (2000), Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche) arrives in a small French village in the late 1950s with her young daughter and opens a chocolate shop. Her irresistible chocolate creations soon captivate the townspeople, but she faces opposition from the conservative mayor, who sees her influence as a threat. As Vianne brings joy and pleasure to the community, her clash with the mayor escalates, and through the power of chocolate and freedom, she unlocks buried secrets and changes the lives of the villagers.
Another big favourite is Pixar’s masterpiece, Ratatouille (2007), in which Remy, a rat with an extraordinary sense of taste and smell, aspires to become a master chef and forms an unlikely alliance with Linguini, the garbage boy of a prestigious French restaurant. Remy prepares incredible dishes using Linguini while keeping his true identity a secret. As they navigate the challenges of the culinary world, they discover that anyone can cook, regardless of their background or race.
Julie & Julia (2009) interweaves two true stories: that of Julia Child (Meryl Streep), a famous chef in the early years of her culinary career, and that of Julie Powell, a young New Yorker who strives to cook all 524 recipes in Julia’s cookbook in one year. Julie documents her experiences on a popular blog, finding inspiration and purpose in her culinary challenge, while the film highlights the transformative power of food and the lasting impact of Julia Child’s recipes.
Jon Favreu’s great film, The Chef (2014), follows the story of Carl Casper, a renowned chef who quits a prestigious Los Angeles restaurant due to creative differences and decides to rekindle his passion for cooking, so Carl starts a food truck business with his son and loyal friend. Together they embark on a cross-country road trip, serving delicious meals and reconnecting Carl with his family and the joy of cooking.
Burnt (2015) is the story of Adam Jones, a talented but troubled chef who, after losing everything due to destructive behaviour and drug addiction, seeks redemption… in the kitchen, of course. He moves to London to assemble an excellent kitchen team and achieve his dream of a third Michelin star. While battling her personal demons and facing stiff competition, she must, of course, prove her culinary skills above all else and find inner peace in the unforgiving and high-pressure world of professional cooking. The Foodie is a fun movie starring the always great Bradley Cooper. The film was advised by Gordon Ramsey, which for me is a guarantee of quality and entertainment.
And finally, a really fresh film from last year… The Menu (2022) is an American horror comedy directed by Mark Mylod. Starring Ralph Fiennes as celebrity chef Julian Slowik and Hong Chau as his assistant. The story follows a group of guests who attend a dinner party at the Hawthorn, where disturbing revelations and sinister events unfold over the course of the meal. As the evening progresses, secrets are revealed, tensions escalate, and the guests face deadly consequences. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was hailed for its originality by critics and audiences alike.