Arriving at UK cinemas this week is Jon Favreau’s taste-bud-delighting comedy Chef so Top 10 Films & The Reel Deal take a look at our favourite food film scenes…
We begin with Steven Spielberg’s much-maligned 1991 fantasy-adventure Hook, where a grown up Peter Pan must return to Neverland and regain his happy thoughts in order to save his children from the fiendish Captain Hook. In one of the film’s most deliciously entertaining scenes, Pan must imagine that a great feast has been laid before him in order to join the Lost Boys in enjoying their evening meal. As he slowly finds his childlike ability to make-believe once again, the empty plates and bowls reveal themselves to be full of culinary delights.
Discover More: Top 10 Films editor Daniel Stephens explains why the much-maligned Hook is a far better film than it is given credit for | Also check out Captain Hook himself Dustin Hoffman’s Finest Performances
Monty Python Meaning of Life (1983)
Next up we go a little darker with the Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. Glutton Mr Creasote arrives at a posh restaurant and consumes pretty much its entire stock of food, throwing up at regular intervals to the disdain of fellow diners and generally being as rude as can be to maitre d John Cleese. He gets his comeuppance when his huge intake of food and drink causes him to explode leaving nothing but a head atop entrails and an exposed skeleton. Not something to get the taste buds going…
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Lady and the Tramp (1955)
That can’t be said of our next film, Disney’s 1955 classic animation Lady and the Tramp. Of course, we’re talking about that unforgettable alleyway date between loved-up cocker Spaniel “Lady” and her roguish hero “Tramp” that culminates in what can only be described as the spaghetti kiss. Who’d have thought a dog’s dinner could be so romantic!
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Certainly, Disney does food and film better than most. And thanks to Pixar they released the brilliant Ratatouille in 2007 featuring an ambitious rat named Remy who happens to be a culinary genius. He gets his opportunity to live his dream as a chef in a top Parisian restaurant when he befriends garbage boy Alfredo Linguini. With Remy secretly guiding Alfredo around the kitchen, the unlikely pairing become the stars of the restaurant.
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Babette’s Feast (1987)
Another film to get the mouth watering is our number one pick. Babette’s Feast tells the story of a Parisian chef who’s displaced from her home and comes to work as a servant for two sisters in Denmark. When she wins some money she’s able to leave her meagre existence but decides instead to stick around and cook a multi-course meal for the local community that lavishly celebrates the food of her homeland. The handful of invited guests, most devout Christians fearful that such sensual luxury is a sin they cannot recover from, decide collectively to show no pleasure in eating the meal laid out before them. But the sumptuous extravagance of Babette’s menu causes a crack in their conservative traditions, elevating the meal to something extraordinarily liberating and empowering.