ByRory O'Connor, writer at
Breathing movies. Humbly writing about them.
Rory O'Connor

Dietrich's glamour; Indy's lifestyle; Brando's physique. Cinema's always been great at showing us what we want but can't have. Cravings and indulgences? Sounds just like food too, so no wonder life's sustenance has carved its own niche over the course of film history.

Iron Man director Jon Favreau is rounding up some friends for Chef this weekend, his dream project du jour, so why not book a table, pour a glass and join us on our journey of cinematic chow?

Bon Appetite y'all.

5. Every piece of Sushi in Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)

Who has compadre, who has...
Who has compadre, who has...

When the salivating hoards flocked to the cinema to catch David Gelb's award winning documentary, many (guilty) were hoping to gain some Obi Wan-style sage advice from the film's legendary lead. Regrettably, Sukiyabashi Jiro, the most hard-line of Zen artists, turned out to be a bit of a prick - but hey, you don't get to three Michelin stars without busting a few dough balls.

Did it matter in the end? Not a bit.

The real star of this soft-core food porn treat was, of course, the food. Shot in shallow focus and slow motion; caressed with soya; cleansed with ginger and complimented gently by Richter, Glass and Mozart's delicate strings, the revered chef's world famous delicacies made sure no stomach was left un-rumbled.

4. Dinner at Le Duc

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

As Sukiyabashi Jiro lay in Tokyo dreaming of delicate raw fish, Mathieu Amalric's Jean Dominique Bauby sat motionless in the North of France doing somewhat the same. Bauby was the editor in chief of Elle magazine before falling victim to "Locked-In" syndrome in 1995; a condition which limited his motor skills to just one blinking eye.

He used that blinking eye to dictate The Diving Bell and The Butterfly - a memoir of his life which would be made into a film ten years after its release by Julian Schnabel.

The film works wonders at expressing Bauby's wandering mind and not least in this remarkable scene when, sick to the stomach with tube-fed meals, Bauby whisks up a mouthwatering sequence of overflowing oysters, fish platters and hedonism, in Paris' Le Duc restaurant on Boulevard Raspail. Schnabel's floating, light-footed camerawork providing the perfect tragic counterpoint to the dying man's new stationary state.

3. A Shawarma joint at the end of the world

The Avengers (2012)

A cast of Hawks
A cast of Hawks

Anthony Mackie asking Captain America and Black Widow "y'all do eat cereal?" in The Winter Soldier was just another in a long line of Marvel movie food gags. So when the franchise's so called phase one enjoyed its crowning moment, Joss Whedon was sure to follow suit.

Prior to The Avengers' 2012 release, few of us could even spell the name of this Mediterranean dish (today this writer discovered he still barely can) but after its sales reportedly went through the roof. A subversive Joss Whedon moment to round off a film chalk-full of subversive Joss Whedon moments, not to mention the perfect low key punchline to a 1.5 billion dollar movie.

2. Choi Min-Sik and 8 lively legs

Oldboy (2013)

Having been placed in single-room confinement for 15 years, with only daily doses of dumplings having past his beak, the hero of Park Chan Wook's Korean Wave classic is mysteriously released and utterly ravenous. He heads straight to a restaurant and... well... this:

It looks absolutely revolting but, all things considered, we're going to give old Oh Dae-Su the benefit of the doubt. Choi Min-sik had to go through 4 of the slimy sea dwellers before Wook decided he'd gotten the shot. A devout Budhist, Min-sik famously said a prayer for each and every one of them.

1. Cold hard proof that "Anyone can cook"

Ratatouille (2007)

And so we reach number one on our gastronomical journey with Pixar's greatest villain and a true moment of culinary catharsis. Anton Ego is not only the finest baddy in Pixar's back catalogue, he's probably the best on screen critic since J.J. Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success. Voiced to perfection by the late great Peter O'Toole, he was high brow pretension incarnate - as cold as he was impenetrable- but chef Remy made him melt.

It doesn't matter if it's the greasiest burger or the finest cut of fillet, it's a moment we all know well; the food goes down, the eyes slightly glaze, and all of a sudden we're somewhere else. Indeed, the titular dish of Brad Bird's Oscar winning favorite is not at the highest end of French cuisine but a homely, nostalgic food to win his stone faced critic's heart. The moment itself is exquisite, but Ego's critique is even more.

A fine old ode to criticism that 'rocks you to the core' but what did we leave out that rocked you to the core? Be sure to fill us in with the comments section below.


Which would you most like to sink your teeth into?


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