In keeping with our focus on food this month, here are some movies that may—or may not—make you hungry. Let us know about your favorite food films in the comments below.

Babette's Feast
Babette’s Feast—A mysterious and beautiful French woman exiled to a seaside Danish village mid 19th century prepares the meal of a lifetime for a community of abstemious church members. They do not know that Babette was once a celebrated Parisian chef, but her perfect, inspired food (cailles en sarcophagi, anyone?) transports them to the sublime rewired sensibility that great art can bring to our lives.
Tampopo—Macho but sensitive truck driver Goro rides into town and helps struggling widow Tampopo establish the perfect ramen shop, reawakening her (and everyone else’s) libido in the process. (Who can forget the egg yolk scene?) The message of this unique and funny “Japanese noodle Western”: the pure joy of good food can be a conduit to our deepest emotions and desires.
Big Night
Big Night—This charming retro movie is about two striving Italian brothers whose humble restaurant is devoted to serving superb food, unlike the crass (and wildly successful) joint down the street with the execrable spaghetti. It’s a story about high standards and ambition, but the takeaway is that food can connect you powerfully to family bonds—just watch Primo and Secondo lovingly cook an omelet together.
Eat Drink Man Woman
Eat Drink Man Woman—This film is a humorous and touching look at food as a bulwark against loss of cultural identity. Senior Master Chef Chu lives in a big house in Taipei with his three strong-willed unmarried daughters, each defiant of traditional Chinese ways. Chu’s elaborate Sunday dinners shared at the family table highlight the values of ritual and cohesion, holding his fracturing clan together in the face of change.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried Green Tomatoes—An unhappy housewife befriends an elderly woman who spins an epic tale of two brave, pioneering women who once ran The Whistle Stop Café in their small Alabama town. Food is the bridge between past and present and the pathway to memory and healing: fried green tomatoes, buttermilk biscuits, a jar of wild honey, and the notorious secret BBQ sauce that changes everything.
Chocolat—A single mother and her six-year-old daughter move to rural France and open a chocolate shop across the street from the local church during Lent, igniting the outrage of the conservative mayor. But the local people are soon won over by Vianne’s delicious chocolates (delectable enough to snare Johnny Depp) and her exuberant spirit of freedom and acceptance of others. Chocolate lovers will swoon.
Julie and Julia
Julie and Julia—This witty and often moving film about Julia Child, the once and future Queen of Cuisine’s food revolution, as seen through an acolyte’s eyes, takes us on a journey about discovering your life’s dream and pursuing it with commitment and daring. For Julia, it all started with an unforgettable plate of Dover sole shimmering in butter. Bon appétit, indeed!
Sideways—When failed novelist and oenophile Miles and slip-sliding-away TV actor Jack hit the road for a wine-soaked bachelor weekend in Santa Barbara, they don’t plan on finding the ingredients to transform their identities and purpose. The great wine (oh, those Pinots!) and food they indulge in somehow open their minds and spirits to change and reinvention, love and loyalty, proving that veritas can sometimes be found in vino.
Waitress—Deep South waitress and genius pie baker Jenna is mired in an unhappy marriage, hoping to ace the annual “best pie” contest, take the prize money, and run. An unexpected pregnancy complicates her plans, but Jenna holds on, her confidence growing as she finds a new romance that looks serious. A quirky tale of keeping faith with yourself, even when it’s not “easy as pie.”
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory—As Willy warbles, we can all use some “pure imagination.” That’s the trippy invitation in this 70s psychedelic classic: Be open to astonishing, astounding experiences that overwhelm and delight. Dancing Oompa Loompas, rivers of chocolate, and odious children getting their comeuppance are added treats.
Soylent Green
Soylent Green—Things have gone really wrong by 2022 (yikes!) and 40 million people are packed into New York City, surviving on rations produced by the evil Soylent Corporation. Their latest creation: Soylent Green, a nutritious wafer advertised to contain “high-energy plankton.” If you remember the last line of this hilarious “bad” movie, you know what Soylent Green is really made of and that mindfulness about what we eat can be critically important.



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