In light of the current situation, a lot of people seem to have taken on cooking. Where many previously depend on restaurant take-outs or Go-Food deliveries, home-cooking is the safer and healthier option for now. Whether you’re a beginner, an expert or someone who is returning to the home-cooking life, it is the perfect chance to sharpen your skills and step up your game in the kitchen.
Cooking is also a great way to pass the time as we all know the days seem to be getting longer and longer these days. Some say cooking is also a form of art, so for those of you who are the artistic kind, it’s a great way to channel your creativity. Cooking may even be therapeutic, especially for those who have anxiety from staying indoors for many, many weeks.
For this week’s movies to watch, we share with you a list of some of the most inspirational movies about the culinary world that will motivate you to get behind the stove and start cooking at home:
Released in 2007, Ratatouille is an American, animated comedy film written and directed by Brad Bird. Based on an original concept by Jan Pinkava and Jim Capobianco, Ratatouille is the eighth film produced by Pixar. The film was met with universal critical acclaim, garnering five nominations at the 80th Academy Awards, including Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Screenplay and Best Animated Feature, winning the latter.
Ratatouille tells the story of Remy (Oswalt), who dreams of becoming a successful French chef despite his family’s objections. The only problem is, Remy is a rat. A rat that has a sophisticated palate and appreciates fine cuisine. When fate washes Remy away to the sewers of Paris, he finds himself ideally situated below Gusteau’s, a restaurant by his recently deceased culinary hero, France’s most famous chef, Auguste Gusteau (Garrett). When Remy runs into the restaurant’s newly-hired garbage boy, Linguini (Romano), Remy’s burning passion for the culinary arts soon sets into motion in a hilarious and thrilling rat race that will forever change the culinary world of Paris.
Accompanied by the beautiful score by Michael Giacchino, Ratatouille is a literal feast that is superbly animated and exquisitely written. Despite the fact that it is an animated film that is primarily about rats, it wears its heart on its sleeve with a pulse that is pleasantly human.
Starring: Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Lou Romano, Janeane Garofalo, Brad Garrett, Peter O’Toole, Brian Dennehy, Peter Sohn, Will Arnett, Julius Callahan, James Remar, John Ratzenberger, Teddy Newton, Tony Fucile, Jake Steinfeld, Brad Bird, Stéphane Roux and Thomas Keller.
Directed by: Brad Bird
Screenplay by: Brad Bird
Story by:Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco & Brad Bird
Release date: June 29, 2007
Running time: 111 minutes
No Reservations (2007)
Released in 2007, No Reservations is a romantic comedy-drama film directed by Scott Hicks. The film is an American adaptation of the 2001 German film, Mostly Martha. No Reservations received mixed reviews upon release but found moderate commercial success. Abigail Breslin was nominated for the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film by a Leading Young Actress.
Set in Manhattan, the film tells the story of Kate Armstrong (Zeta-Jones), a workaholic who works as the head chef at the trendy 22 Bleecker Street Restaurant. Kate is a perfectionist who controls and intimidates those around her, which prompts her boss and the restaurant’s owner, Paula (Clarkson), to send Kate to therapy. When Kate’s sister is killed in a car accident, she becomes the sole guardian of her grief-stricken niece, Zoe (Breslin).
Paula instructs Kate to take a few days off to take care of Zoe but when Kate returns to work, she is surprised to find that Paula has hired a new sous-chef, Nick Palmer (Eckhart). Distrustful and jealous, Kate believes Nick is out for her position despite him saying he wants to work under her. When Zoe grows closer to Nick, Kate’s feelings towards him softens up, though she believes she made a mistake when his work starts getting recognised.
Despite its predictable plot, No Reservations is an enjoyable film that manages to exude an enlightened attitude towards parenthood and work through the honest and surprisingly emotional journey of its characters.
Starring: Catherin Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin, Patricia Clarkson, Jenny Wade, Bob Balaban, Brían Balaban, Lily Rabe, Arija Bareikis, John McMartin, Celia Weston, Zöe Kravitz, Dearbhla Molloy, Matt Servitto and Fulvio Cecere.
Directed by: Scott Hicks
Written by: Carol Fuchs & Sandra Nettelbeck
Release date: July 27, 2007
Running time: 104 minute
Julie & Julia (2009)
Released in 2009, Julie & Julia is a comedy-drama film written and directed by Nora Ephron. Based on two books, My Life in France, Julia Child’s autobiography written by Child and Alex Prud’homme, and Julie & Julia, a memoir by Julia Powell. Julia & Julie received positive critical reaction upon its release, with Meryl Streep receiving a nomination at the 82nd Academy Awards for Best Actress.
The film interweaves the life of famed chef Julia Child (Streep) in the early years of her culinary career and the life of New Yorker Julie Powel (Adams), who challenges herself to cook all of the recipes in Child’s cookbook in one year. In 1949, diplomat Paul Child (Tucci) begins his four-year post in Paris, France, along with his wife, Julia. The physically imposing Julia enjoys life in Paris, particularly because of the food, which she finds is a revelation. Wondering what to do with her days, Julia decides to enrol in cooking lessons at the Cordon Bleu, where she discovers her passion for cooking, and to later write a French cookbook accessible to the average American housewives.
In 2002, 30-year-old New Yorker Julie Powell is an aspiring writer who loves to cook but is discontented with her unpleasant job at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Julie and her husband, magazine editor Eric Powell (Messina), move to an apartment on top of a pizzeria in Queens so that Eric can be closer to his job and save money. Eric suggests Julie start a blog to spend her free time and Julie decides to blog about her commitment to cooking all 534 recipes by Julia Child in one year.
Driven by the charismatic performance of Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia is a light and entertaining culinary comedy that reflects the rhythm and attitude found in old Hollywood classics.
Starring: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Linda Emond, Helen Carey, Jane Lynch, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Joan Juliet Buck, Amanda Hesser, Deborah Rush, Vanessa Ferlito, Casey Wilson, Jillian Bach, Frances Sternhagen, Françoise Lebrun, Mary Kay Place and Erin Dilly.
Directed by: Nora Ephron
Screenplay by: Nora Ephron
Based on: My Life in France by Julia Child & Alex Prud’homme | Julie & Julia by Julie Powell
Release date: August 7, 2009
Running time: 123 minutes
Released in 2014, Chef is an American comedy-drama film written, co-produced, directed by and starring Jon Favreau. The film features an original script by Favreau, who wanted to make a small budget film about cooking after previously directing multiple big-budget films. Chef received positive reviews upon release and was praised for the direction, music, writing, story and performances.
Chef tells the story of Miami-born Carl Casper (Favreau), the acclaimed head chef of Gauloise in Brentwood, Los Angeles, whose family life seems to be deteriorating, as does his artistic freedom. Although he gets along with his kitchen staff and hostess Molly (Johansson), Carl constantly clashes with Riva (Hoffman), the restaurant’s owner, who restricts Carl to classic recipes instead of innovative dishes. Carl ruins his career when a viral video of him confronting and berating food critic, Ramsey (Platt), after the latter gave a scathing review of Carl’s cooking that Riva instructed him to make, against his own instincts.
With his career tarnished, Carl’s rich ex-wife, Inez (Vergara), provides an unconventional solution: go to Miami, restore an old food truck and sell quality food that he wants to make. Accompanied by his son, Percy (Anthony), and former colleague, Martin (Leguizamo), Carl drives across America with the truck to rediscover his passion for cooking and, eventually, his passion for life as he reconnects with his family.
With a charming cast, hilarious script and marvellous food photography, Chef is a deeply satisfying, feel-good film that will make you warm and fuzzy on the inside… but also make you extremely hungry afterwards.
Starring: Jon Favreau, Emjay Anthony, John Leguizamo, Sofía Vergara, Bobby Cannavale, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Dustin Hoffman, Amy Sedaris, Robert Downey Jr., and Russell Peters.
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Screenplay by: Jon Favreau
Release date: May 9, 2014
Running time: 114 minutes
The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
Released in 2014, The Hundred-Foot Journey is a comedy-drama film directed by Lasse Hallström. The film is an adaptation of Richard Morais’ 2010 novel of the same name. The film received favourable reviews upon release, earning Helen Mirren a Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical nomination at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards.
The film tells the story of gifted cook, Hassan Kadam (Dayal) and his family, whose lives have been filled with both culinary pleasures and deep sorrow. When political violence erupts in India results in their family restaurant destroyed and their mother killed, the family is forced to flee India and seek asylum in Europe. Drifting through Europe, the Kadam family arrives in France, where they cross paths with a kind young woman, Marguerite (Le Bon), in Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val village after an auto accident.
Marguerite works as a sous chef at Le Saule Pleureur, an haute cuisine restaurant run by its proprietor, the snobbish Madame Mallory (Mirren). Inspired by Marguerite, Papa Kadam (Puri) decides to open a traditional Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai. The only problem is, it puts them in direct competition with Madame Mallory’s establishment a hundred-feet across the street. What soon follows is a rivalry with unexpected twists that ultimately escalates in personal intensity for both sides of the party.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a rich, fulfilling and beautifully written feel-good movie that is simply an effervescent treat, brimming with cinematic and emotional flavour. Helen Mirren delivers yet again a wonderful performance, as she always does in every role she tackles.
Starring: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Rohan Chand, Amit Shah, Frazana Dua Elahe, Dillon Mitra, Aria Pandya, Michael Blanc, Shuna Lemoine, Clément Sibony, Juhi Chawla and Vincent Elbaz.
Directed by: Lasse Hallström
Screenplay by: Steven Knight
Based on: The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
Release date: August 8, 2014
Running time: 122 minutes