These “food porn” movies will make you hungry (or not)

Chef by Jon Favreau
Chef by Jon Favreau

Jon Favreau’s new movie “Chef” has been gaining a steady stream of good word of mouth owing to its unique mix of social media, humour, stellar cast and of course, GRATUITOUS SHOTS OF FOOD.  Seriously, Favreau may have just made the tastiest looking grilled cheese sandwich of all time in the movie. But this also got us thinking… what other food themed movies turns our palettes on… or off? Here are 9 of them.

  1. Ratatouille
Tango with a carrot

 

Named after the traditional French vegetable stew, this heartwarming Pixar movie is about a young cook and the rat that teaches him how to cook! Whenever I see Patton Oswalt, I still think of Remy the rat before anything else. Peter O’Toole steals the show as the very appropriately named Anton Ego, the obnoxious restaurant critic.

 

  1. Waitress
There’s a pie monster on the loose…

 

Keri Russell plays Jenna, a waitress in a small Southern town stuck in an abusive marriage. She’s secretly saving enough to run away and does so by pouring her heart and soul into her job at Joe’s Pie Diner where she comes up with inventive pies with names inspired by her life, such as the “Bad Baby Pie”, named after her unwanted pregnancy. This whimsical comedy, sadly, has a bittersweet side to it as writer/director/actress Adrienne Shelly was murdered three months before the premiere of the movie in a tragic robbery gone wrong.

 

  1. Super Size Me
Me on any given night…

 

This might or might not make you more hungry, but Morgan Spurlock’s month long McDonald’s diet is captured in all its glory. His life is completely affected, from his dwindling sexual prowess to his mental health. This documentary will make you think twice about fast food consumption… * doorbell rings*, oh no, there’s my McDelivery order.

 

  1. Chocolat
Mhmmmmm…

 

A chocolatier (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter travel across Europe and finally decide to settle down in a quiet French village. However, the very traditional village folk does take kindly to them as their arrival coincides with the beginning of lent. The film also stars a Johnny Depp as Roux, a gypsy. This was before he started playing caricatures instead of characters. Be warned as the gratuitous shots of chocolate will induce both a shopping spree and a chocolate eating binge.

 

  1. Jiro Dreams Of Sushi
I haven’t even met you but I feel like we have a connection, piece of Tuna sushi.

 

The quest for the perfect sushi is chronicled in this intriguing character driven documentary by David Gelb. Jiro Ono is the 85 year old sushi master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Japanese restaurant boasting of three Michelin stars. His two sons are also subjects of the movie, with Takashi, the younger son having left to open a similar restaurant in the Roppongi Hills, and elder son, Yoshikazu, 50 years old, who still works at Sukiyabashi Jiro and faces the daunting prospect of taking over from his dad. This is also the restaurant that President Obama recently dined at!

 

  1. Big Night

This drama about two brothers who run an Italian restaurant is a look at the unique forms that familial love can take in Italian families. The two brothers are played by two great actors; Tony Shalhoub (from TV’s Monk) and Stanley Tucci. It was also written and directed by the latter. Shalhoub plays Primo, the perfectionist who hates the Amercanized food that his few remaining customers want. Secondo is of course, the other brother who manages the restaurant, in love with the notion of the American dream. The last shot of the movie is a moving one, with the two brothers bonding over a simple meal of omelette and eggs after a night in which everything went wrong. P.S. The third guy in the clip is a young Marc Anthony, playing waiter Cristiano.

 

  1. Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory
“The crappy Tim Burton version is that way…”

 

Forget Johnny Depp. (I know he just appeared a few posts above… but try.) Gene Wilder’s the original one that spawned a thousand Internet memes. The story revolves Charlie, a boy who receives a golden ticket and gets to visit Wonka’s chocolate factory with four other kids from around the world. Gene Wilder’s performance as Wonka mixes a Peter Pan-esque eternal child with the weary spite of an adult. Despite the oompa loompas and the many candy treats, the film still retains the dark undertones of the book by Roald Dahl.

 

  1. Soylent Green
“I wonder what they’re doing with so many people…”

 

Here’s another that won’t make you hungry for the cuisine featured here. In 2022, the Earth is overpopulated. Thankfully, the Soylent Corporation is here to help feed everyone with their well rationed batches of Soylent Green. Charlton Heston plays a policeman who can’t help but feel that something is amiss. He investigates to seek the truth behind the “plankton-based wafer” food, leading to one of the most shocking reveals in cinema history. (Highlight below for spoilers.)

“SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!”

 

  1. Julie & Julia

Nora Ephron’s last movie centers around two vastly different personalities, the first being the author of cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and Julie Powell (Amy Adams), a writer who isn’t quite satisfied with her job. In her free time, she decides to do something she enjoys, blogging the process of cooking every recipe in Child’s book as way to both motivate herself and to log her progress. Interestingly enough, this is Stanley Tucci’s second appearance on this list, playing Julia Child’s husband, Paul Child.

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