blogger, Ramsey Michel (Oliver Platt) intends to dine.
Against his better judgement he serves up old favourites, much to the dismay of Michel, and gets an LA style online lampooning. With a few of the basics from son Percy (Emjay Anthony), social media newbie Capser, gets even, retaliating over Twitter. It escalates of course, until he confronts Michel in a public melt down which ends his reign in one of the city’s most prestigious kitchens and leaves him one of the untouchables. It does however, produce a Twitter following you couldn’t buy and the roux for the plot. Along the way, the viewer is voyeur to mouth watering close ups of
Capser’s creations, from restaurant masterpiece to home cooked comfort food.
Right now, the West is obsessively preoccupied with cooking, or at least watching other’s cook. Capser is the groove maestro in the kitchen, replete with knuckle tattoos. Street food is totally in right now. Social media is still in too, although if they were filming today it would have been Instagram not Twitter used. Child actor, Emjay Anthony, is heart warming
and a natural to the screen. There’s eye candy (Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Sofía Vergara).
And there are miles of highway footage in the great tradition of American road movies.
The women characters are largely incidental and the script is a bit…meh….
But I admit I laughed, a lot. I enjoyed the movie and felt happy watching it. I wanted dad to notice his boy’s devotion and love him in return. I wanted to smell, touch and taste all that delicious food showcased. Damn it! I wanted to be in that kitchen with Capser, learning his techniques and sharing the success. Most of all I just wanted to live in his open plan LA flat.
A Japanese comedy from 1985 where a failing restaurateur crowd sources a way to perfect her noodle soup and saves her business. The story is interspersed with random food vignettes and includes an underworld subplot with a gangster who has some creative uses for food.
I saw it at the annual alternative film festival in Townsville with my new and somewhat older boyfriend. There was noodle making and erotica. The most memorable scene: lemon and salt, and cream dusted breasts (not at the same time or perhaps not the same breast. The details are fuzzy now). I was naïve and 19 years old but the memory is indelible. More on Tampopo here.
A 2007 animation about a rat that can cook. The tagline is of course, ‘Anyone can cook’. You can’t go wrong with a movie that stars a cute rat and a restaurant, except when the health inspector arrives. The beauty of Ratatouille is that it is a story about what you are capable of when you are given wings and let fly. Here’s one such scene and more about the film.
Julie and Julia
It’s a story of parallel lives where American, Julie Powell, struggling to find her own self-worth, decides to cook her way through Child’s classic French cooking text of 524 recipes in 365 days, all awhile blogging.
Reflecting on her journey of self-discovery and French cooking, Julie’s best line is, ‘I was drowning and she [Julia Childs] pulled me out of the ocean.’
The most memorable and angst-ridden scene was her making the wedding cake for Pedro and her sister’s wedding. Exhausted from cooking for 180 guests and overwhelmed by the pending marriage of her beloved to another, she cries her despair into the cake’s icing. The cake causes the kind of stir cooks are not generally looking for:
everyone was flooded with a great wave of longing…
strange intoxication – an acute attack of pain and frustration – that seized
the guests and scattered them across the patios, the grounds, and into the
bathrooms, all of them wailing over lost love.