Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey is a Must-See for Foodies

Movie Title:   The Hundred-Foot Journey

Grade:  A
PG, 2 hours 2 minutes

In a Nutshell:   Mmmmm…..a must-see for foodies.  

I’m an instructor at the famous Le Cordon Bleu CulinarySchool and so, obviously, I love good food.  (You could also take one look at my figure and deduce that.) Dreamworks offered complimentary movie tickets to our faculty and students, so I was thrilled to join other epicurean nerds in a special preview of this delectable film.  I also brought my cute niece, Lacey Long, who was featured in a student episode of Top Chef Masters!

Based on Richard C. Morais’s first book, you know that co-producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey are going to create something truly magical.  And it is.  Because it was a special preview, we got to hear from them before the movie began.  Oprah calls the film “Deliciously charming.”  And it is.  It satisfies the senses and is comfort food for the soul.

I finally get to use the word “bucolic” in a movie review.  The bulk of the movie takes place in a picturesque and postcard-perfect village in the gorgeous south of France.  The cinematography is stunning. This is also one movie where I really wish smellovision existed.

Uplifting theme:  In addition to the inspiring dishes, the film serves up cultural understanding, tolerance, and appreciation.

Things I liked:
  • The title of the book and movie is brilliant.
  • Academy Award Winner Helen Mirren is a national treasure.
  • Manish Dayal is adorable as Hassan Kadam and Om Puri is a lovable, wise Papa.
  • The dialogue is filled with layered meanings.  I love that.  Like an onion.
 Things I didn’t like:
  • This film will make you hungry. 
  • The drama is sentimental, but easily forgivable.
Did you notice?
  • Madame Mallory’s big, beautiful ring?
  • The crepe maker in the outdoor market?
  • Le Cordon Bleu book on the bookshelf?  When we saw Hassan look at it, all of us from the Culinary School cheered with obnoxious enthusiasm.  By the way, did you know they offer free community classes and campus tours?  See if one is in your city!  (My shameless plug)  Another book that was featured was a pastry book written by Jules de Gouffe.
  • The giant chef’s knife the young boy uses in the courtyard?
  • The sleek wine carafe Madame Mallory uses on Bastille Day?
  • The hideous wallpaper in Papa’s bedroom?
Great lines:
  • “Wherever the family is at is home.”  - Papa
  • “Asking for a discount doesn’t mean I’m poor.  It means I’m thrifty.”  - Papa  (I completely agree!  Check out my “thrifty-living” blog at Sister Thrifty!)
  • “In this restaurant we do not serve an old, tired marriage, but a passionate affair.” – Madame Mallory
  • “One Michelin star is good.  Two is amazing.  Three is only for the gods.”  - Madame Gallory
  • “If your food is anything like your music, then I suggest you tone it down.”  Madame Mallory
  • “You’re a chef.  I do not pay you to burn things.” – Madame Mallory
  • “Welcome to our humble abode and thank you for barging in.”  - Papa
  • “Smile!  You got good teeth…just smile!”  - Papa says to his daughter on their opening night.  In contrast, Charlotte Le Bon doesn’t have good teeth, but has a beautiful smile.  She’s a beautiful and charming French actress who is perfectly cast as Marguerite.
  • Talking about the five “mother sauces”, Marguerite says “You must find them in your heart.  Then, bring them to your pots.  That’s the secret.”
  • “Food is memories.” – Hassan
  • “I’m waiting for Hassan Kadam or death, whichever comes soonest.”  - Madame Mallory
  • Papa asks “Is he as good as I think he is?”  Madame Mallory pronounces “Better.”
  • “This is the beast that must be fed twice a day.  And what does it like?  Innovation.”  - Parisian restaurateur

French words to know before seeing the movie:
  • Bon chance   =  Good luck
  • Je suis désolé    =  I’m sorry
  • Maison   = house, home
  • Incroyable   = incredible
  • Bon vivant  =   gourmet
  • Le aster = star, luminary
  • Le aliment = food

Tips for parents:   Kids may think the length of the film is too long.  Food lovers will enjoy every tasty morsel.
You've seen the movie, now read the book!

If you were inspired by the book or movie, then get cooking!

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