Top Ten Movie Feasts
6: The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.
Cannibalism, where would art house cinema be without it? Director Peter Greenaway’s surprisingly straightforward (for him) tale of a mobster who buys a fancy restaurant then acts like a tool and drives away most of the customers actually has a story, which is surprising for one of his films (and probably explains why it’s his most popular). But it also had an ending that involves the mobster's wife (a frequently naked Helen Mirren) ordering the corpse of her dead lover (killed by the mobster) to be cooked and served up to him (handily linking food and sex in one delicious looking corpse). This presumably symbolised something about either having your sins return to you or not ordering the upsized zinger combo at KFC.
Did anyone else spend the entirety of this film with UB40’s ‘Rat In Mi Kitchen’ stuck in their head? Okay, so it’s just me then. Despite the somewhat massive problem of animated food not really looking like actual food – most of us learn from a fairly early age that things that don’t look like food are probably things you shouldn’t eat – this did a surprisingly good job of conveying the joys and passions of cooking. Even if it was all somehow threatened by a single solitary reviewer - which, speaking as a sometime reviewer, is pretty hilarious. I can’t even persuade my immediate family not to go see Kath & Kimderella, let alone shut anything down.
4: Like Water for Chocolate.
A young woman, forbidden to marry, pours all her emotions into her cooking. Fortunately for those tired of cooking being used to provide boring metaphors for repression, her emotion-packed cooking kills her dad and gets her sister so hot she literally starts fires (and runs off with a bunch of soldiers). Then things get really weird, especially as this Mexican magic realism tale of death and sadness somehow inspired the Sarah Michelle Gellar movie Simply Irresistible. Yes, that’s the one where Gellar gets the power to put her emotions in her cooking via a magical crab.