Sitting down to a meal isn’t always what we expect and movies like to play with that. Sometimes we’re squirming with discomfort and other times we’re so inspired we’re in the kitchen rustling in the cupboards for something good. Film feasts tell us something about who we are, or could be, or never want to be. Here are a five delicious films for you. Feast your eyes…
To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
Harper Lee, the author of To Kill A Mockingbird, passed away at 89 on Feb.19, 2016 leaving us her brilliant novel. One of the scenes from that book shows up in the film when Scout invites Walter home for lunch. What he does to his fine roast beef dinner shocks Scout, and being Scout, she says something. Calpurnia, their housekeeper, takes Scout into the kitchen and says it like it is: “That boy is your company. And if he wants to eat up that tablecloth, you let him, you hear? And if you can’t act fit to eat like folks, you can just set here and eat in the kitchen.” Food for thought, you could say.
Babette’s Feast (1987)
If ever there was a film solely devoted to the beauty of preparing and giving a meal, it is Babette’s Feast. The story takes place in an isolated village on a desolate piece of Denmark’s coast where two spinster sisters have hired Babette to be their housekeeper and cook. Unbeknownst to them, Babette is an accomplished French cook and when she wins a large amount of money, she chooses to honour them and the memory of their father with a fabulous feast.
Big Night (1996)
This movie is all about believing, especially believing in the pleasures of the table. Primo and Secondo are brothers recently immigrated to a 50s New York City. In their restaurant, one brother is true to his beloved Italian food but the other is eager to embrace the American version of Italian food and culture. As they struggle, their restaurant struggles until the only thing they can do is have one last Big Night. Everything hangs on this dinner, so you know something has to go comically wrong in the best way.
Lots of passion and laughs and amore with food as the backdrop in Moonstruck. There’s the scene in the Grand Ticino restaurant, the family grocery store, the bakery, or this droll one in the family’s dining room, where the mother tells the old guy her food isn’t for the dogs. Cher (not in this clip) won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in the film (beating out Meryl Streep) but you don’t have to be a fan of Cher’s music to enjoy.
American Beauty (1999)
We don’t recommend this sort of getting together and eating because it looks miserable (we can see why the daughter wants to leave the table), which isn’t a surprise as there’s not one bit of American Beauty that’s funny. But the film does show how intrenched the famliy meal is. And it’s a very good reminder not to throw your food.