A good food story makes you hungry, inspires you to make new dishes or even order in a certain type of food. It is, in effect, food porn. It ignites your fire for the epicurean delights that await you in this wide world, with it’s presentation, focus, writing or dialogue about the food. Really good foodie movies do this through the eyes of one or more culinarily impassioned characters and imbue you with the fever of their love, inspiring you to greater heights.
Whenever I am sick and I am in need of a little nurturing, movies like these help me to feel a bit less deprived, satiating my desires through the sights, sounds and tastes described therein.
Here’s my ever-growing list of Foodie Movies in alphabetical order along with subsections on those with cannabalistic overtones, food documentaries and non-food movies that have great food scenes or food conversations in them. This list is a work-in-progress and is by no means exhaustive, feel free to post your own favorites for me to explore and add to the list and the site.
A Matter of Taste
Eat, Drink, Man, Woman
Fried Green Tomatoes
Les Emotifs Anonymes (French w/subtitles – “Romantics Anonymous”)
Like Water for Chocolate
Mostly Martha (both British and American versions)
My Dinner with Andre
This movie has it all: great food, action, sensuality, subtitles and old western feel married with a touch of The Godfather, all rolled up in the guise of the perfect bowl of noodle soup in Japan.
The Big Feast
The Chocolate War
The Recipe (Korean)
Under the Tuscan Sun
Waiting . . .
Then there are movies at which some may others cringe for being on my list. I can understand the trepidation some others may have at inclusion of these fine stories, because though they are technically food movies that have an unappetizing main course that may leave some stomachs turning.
The Cook, Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
This, for me, is one of the finest foodie movies there is, not only for it’s beautiful presentations of food as well as the phenomenal lighting and artistic direction, that make this film truly a visual feast, but because food is integral to the story – not just as setting but as device and quite literally, in the end as character. This one knocks it out of the park especially for someone like me, who enjoys both reading and cooking. The idea of falling in love through one’s love for food (and books ) is utterly sumptuous. Plus, it stars the incomparable (and sumptuous in her own right), Helen Mirren. This one is a MUST SEE on my foodie list.
Fast Food Nation (technically this is a dramatization of the investigative findings of journalist Eric Schlosser but the truth is so gross I can’t bear to put it up in the “Great Foodie Movie” list. )
How to Cook Your Life
I Like Killing Flies
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Super Size Me
Great Food Scene (or Two)
Better than Chocolate — Painting chocolate scene
Bread & Tulips – anti-pasti scenes
Cherry Truckers — whipped cream scene
Coming to America — Whether he’s working at McDowell’s or portraying the lead singer of a band called “Sexual Chocolate,” Eddie Murphy’s food references are hilarious.
Forrest Gump — Box of Chocolates discussion
It’s Complicated — Roasted chicken, chocolate cake, croque monsieur and most especially the chocolate croissant scene.
Pulp Fiction — Cheese Royale discussion
Spanglish— Egg sandwich
Stranger than Fiction — Cookie scene
Sweet Movie — The chocolate scene is referenced as sensual by some (there are other food scenes as well — sugar, eggs, beef tongue, mother’s milk) but taken as a whole, this movie is largely VERY unappetizing and I cannot recommend it. I include it only to warn off those who may hear of it as a “foodie movie” (as I did) and who will be greatly disappointed. If you’re dying to see the chocolate scene, check it out on Youtube and save yourself the agony of onscreen defecation, group vomiting, pedophilia (horrifically, real underage boys in a very unsettling situation) and incongruent plotting.
Tom Jones — Oyster scene
Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe — “I’m quite convinced that the only alternative to filmmaking is cooking.” — Werner Herzog
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