If there’s anything better than French food, it would have to be films set in France about food. We’ve picked some of the best.
Haute Cuisine is the true story of Danièle Mazet-Delpeuch and her appointment as private chef to François Mitterrand, the President of the French Republic. The main character, renamed Hortense Laborie, is whisked away from her quiet country existence to cook for the most powerful man in France. This is a food-lovers movie, with lots of close-up montages of escargot, duck breast and cream cheese desserts. The problem with this movie is that not a whole lot happens – think conflict with her employer, other staff and the President’s dieticians – but there are enough gorgeous food shots to make up for it.
The Hundred Foot Journey
An Indian family moves into a small French village, starts a restaurant and manages to annoy the local restaurant matriarch in every conceivable way. The Hundred Foot Journey fuses French fine dining with Mumbai street food, much to the consternation of Helen Mirren and much to the delight of the viewers, with this delightful cultural fusion playing alongside a heart-warming tale of redemption and really, really nice food.
Julie & Julia
This one might be cheating, considering half the film takes place in modern-day New York. Even so, putting aside Meryl Streep’s powerhouse performance, Julie & Julia transports viewers back to 1950s France where Julia Child undertakes her mission to learn French cooking. Despite being initially being met with scepticism from the largely male cooking school, we all know how the story ends – with Julia Child becoming one of the most recognisable names in cookbook history. The ‘Julie’ section of the movie is also good, but nothing compares to being enveloped in the atmosphere of post-war France, with a chef working at the top of her game.
Should we discuss the heart-warming story, the vibrant colours and perfect animation, or the fact that animated food has never looked so good? What more is there to say? Literally everyone on the planet loves Ratatouille.