“I Wish You A Hearty Appetite!”
(Bon Appe’tit!)

The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Dame Helen Mirren opens Friday, August 8th.
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Hassan Kadam (played by Manish Dayal) and his family are displaced from their native India. They settle in a small French town to open a restaurant, but once the ice-queen proprietress of the French restaurant across the street, Madame Mallory (played by Dame Helen Mirren), catches wind of it, she gives them hell.  Director, Lasse Hallström also directed Chocolat in 2000 (see below).  Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey are the producers.

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​Dame Helen Mirren as Madame Mallory 

the ice-queen proprietress  
              Oprah Winfrey:  “Food allows us to blend cultures and gives us the ability peek in 
              other’s life. It is about a hundred foot divide between cultures.” 
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Seven Awarded & Critically Acclaimed Food Movies 

Babette’s Feast_1987

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Two Danish sisters take in Babette Hersant played by Stéphane Audran {in above photo} a French refugee during the 19th-century. Babette was once a premiere chef in Paris.  She prepares an extravagant feast after winning the lottery. The normally pious village gets to indulge in this epic meal.-
Awards                                                                                      –
Babette’s Feast was the first Danish cinema film of a Blixen story. It was also the first Danish film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

​Like Water for Chocolate_1992

Food and sex, food and love, life and death are not metaphors but articles of faith in this delightfully sensuous Mexican film based on the novel by Laura Esquivel and directed by her husband, Alfonso Arau.
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As Like Water for Chocolate became an international hit, its admirers paid tribute to the movie by cooking some of its recipes — the perfect main course to a most romantic evening. And what’s for dessert?
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Awards                                                                                                                                 
Like Water for Chocolate earned all of the 11 Ariel awards of the Mexican Academy of Motion Pictures, including Best Picture, and became the highest grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the United States at the time.-

Eat Drink Man Woman_1994​

Taiwanese-American director Ang Lee made his name with this depiction of an emotionally repressed Taipei family. The central character is Master Chef, 
Mr. Chu a widower whose only real means of communicating with his three headstrong daughters (challenging traditional Chinese values) is via the elaborate Sunday dinner he cooks for them every week. 
It’s both funny and poignant, a beautifully balanced study that well deserved its foreign-film Oscar nomination.-
Awards                                                                                      –
This was the first of Ang Lee’s films to be both a critical and box office success.  It received the Asia Pacific Film Festival Award for Best Film.  In 1995 it received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

The Big Night_1996

This is such a classic. Two brothers; Secondo played by Stanley Tucci and Primo played by Tony Shalhoub emigrate from Italy to open a restaurant in America, only to face financial struggles.
 
When offered an opportunity to save their restaurant, the brothers gamble all they have for their Big Night.
Tucci heads the cast, with Tony ShalhoubMinnie Driver and Isabella Rosselli.
Awards                                                          –Nominated for the “Grand Jury Prize” at the Sundance Film Festival and the “Grand Special Prize” at theDeauville Film Festival.  
Campbell Scott and Stanley Tucci won the New York Film Critics Circle Award and the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best New Director. Tucci and Joseph Tropiano won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.-
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Chocolat_2000​

Speaking of sensual power: The primary ingredients of director Lasse Hallström’s whimsical tale included Juliette Binoche, as a single mother who moves to a tiny French village in the 1960s and opens a shoppe Chocolat Maya.  Johnny Depp, as a riverboat-dwelling drifter; and this sweet, cacao-based substance wins over the closed hearts of all those stuffy petits-bourgeois.
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Ah!…Chocolat  (French pronunciation)

Awards                                                                                                                       –
Chocolat was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.  It was also nominated for eight BAFTAs, and four Golden Globes.   Actress Judi Dench won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance in Chocolat.

Julie & Julia_2009​

“There are two Julias in Nora Ephron‘s movie,” wrote Mary Pols for TIME. “One is short and petite, the other extraordinarily tall and pleasantly beamy. One loves to cook, while the other lived to cook. Both are based on real people. One, Julie Powell played by Amy Adams, had a bright idea, while the other, Julia Child played by veteran actress Meryl Streep, had a calling.”   
Like a deft cook mixing recipes from two sources, Ephron combined Powell’s best-seller about preparing 365 Child recipes with Child’s memoir My Life in France, detailing her discovery and mastery of French cooking, which spurred her career as a writer and star.Stanley Tucci plays Child’s devoted diplomat husband.  “This is a charming crowd pleaser,” Pols wrote, “but it’s also surprisingly bold. Ephron has varied her usual moviemaking recipe, proof that Julia Child still inspires.”-  
Awards                                                                                
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Julie & Julia was nominated by Satellite Awards for Best Film and Norah Ehpron nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.-
Meryl Streep as Chef Julia Child
Streep’s Magic
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Meryl Streep was nominated for 24 Best Actress Awards throughout the United States and internally; she won 12 Best Actress Awards for her role as Chef Julia Child. –              –
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Meryl Streep has been widely praised for her performance as Child.  
Movie critic A. O. Scott of The New York Times affirmed that “By now [Streep] has exhausted every superlative that exists and to suggest that she has outdone herself is only to say that she’s done it again. Her performance goes beyond physical imitation, though she has the rounded shoulders and the fluting voice down perfectly.”                                              –                                                       
Reviewer Peter Travers wrote in Rolling Stone that “Streep — at her brilliant, beguiling best — is the spice that does the trick for the yummy Julie & Julia.”   Similarly, Stephanie Zacharekof Salon concluded that “Streep isn’t playing Julia Child here, but something both more elusive and more truthful — she’s playing our idea of Julia Child.”
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“2011 Documentary Film”
Jiro Ono, age 88 is a master sushi chef who has been practicing his craft for his entire life, and the current owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, Michelin-starred, sushi-only restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station.
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Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary about this interesting man and his son, who’s feeling the extreme pressure of filling his dad’s shoes. 
President Obama recently dined with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his Asian trip April 2014.

Jiro Ono, master sushi chef greets 

President Barack Obama 
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seated next to President Obama’s left; seated far right is Susan Rice, national security advisor.  Not shown in this photo next to Susan is Caroline Kennedy, Ambassador to Japan
Production & Critical Acclaim                                             –
Director and cinematographer, David Gelb stated “Originally, I was going to make a film with a lot of different sushi chefs who all had different styles, but when I got to Jiro’s restaurant, 
I was not only amazed by how good the sushi was and how much greater it was than any other sushi restaurant I had ever been to, but I also found Jiro to be such a compelling character and such an interesting person.”   
“I was also fascinated by the story of his son, who is 53 years old, but still works for his father at the restaurant.”  
So, I thought, ‘Here’s a story about a person living in his father’s shadow while his father is in a relentless pursuit of perfection.’  It was the makings of a good feature film.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is beautiful, thoughtful, and engrossing, should prove satisfying even for filmgoers who don’t care for the cuisine.

Bon Appe’tit! 
“I wish you a hearty appetite!”
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Camille
Camille Mitchell
Ambassador

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