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Top 5 food flicks to watch

Woman watching TV

If you’re a food lover, you’ll probably love nothing more – except perhaps eating – than experiencing another world of food via the movies. With streaming services and online rentals abounding, there has never been a better time to relax and enjoy a food-focussed film.

Here are five of our favourite food films to watch right now

1 Jiro dreams of sushi (2011)

Watch for: fabulous Japanese cuisine made with love.
Jiro Ono is an 85-year-old sushi master whose restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, is in a Tokyo subway station and has three Michelin stars. Jiro serves the lucky, lucky patrons at his tiny 10-seat restaurant an incredible tasting menu of 20-odd courses. This Japanese-language (with subtitles) documentary looks at his lifelong passion for sushi. It follows Jiro on a typical day and charts the passing of the torch from him to his two sons, who will eventually run the family business. If it sounds dull, be assured this film is riveting and, what’s more, mouth-watering. It’s also incredibly touching. It’s a story of family, obsession and mystery. You will definitely want to go out for sushi – and/or book tickets to Japan – after watching it.
Available on Netflix
Watch the trailer

2 Julie and Julia (2009)

Watch for: A loving tribute to an American cooking icon.
This is a charming film based on real-life events: the life of famous cook Julia Child, and the project embarked upon by New Yorker Julie Powell, who in 2002 came up with the idea of cooking all 524 recipes in Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 365 days. Powell blogged about the results, which became a book, which became a movie starring the delightful Amy Adams and the always-amazing Meryl Streep as Julia Child. The film moves between Julia’s life in Paris in the 1950s to Julie’s life in post-9/11 New York. It’s a lovely story featuring some laugh-out-loud scenes that anyone who has ever bitten off a culinary challenge that’s a bit big for them will be able to relate to.
Available on US Netflix
Watch the trailer

3 The Game Changers (2019)

Watch to: have something to say about the film everyone’s talking about.
This Netflix film is a powerful piece of vegan advocacy and makes no attempt to hide it. Executive produced by famous vegan director James Cameron alongside a long list of other Big Vegan Names including Arnold Schwarzenegger (who knew?!), Jackie Chan, Lewis Hamilton and Novak Djokovic, it’s a challenge to the outdated idea that ‘real men eat meat’. Join narrator/presenter James Wilks, a former champion UFC fighter and vegan convert as he meets high-performance athletes around the world, all of whom say the switch to a vegan diet helped them win gold medals and break world records. It’s not balanced, but it is compelling. You might want to show this to a meat-loving man you know. You also might want to, when you’re done, spend a bit of time Googling some of the fact-checking critiques of the film.
Available on Netflix
Watch the trailer

4 Super Size Me (2004)

Watch for: a one-man experiment with fast food.
One of the first of the mainstream foodie documentaries, this documentary follows filmmaker Morgan Spurlock as he embarks on a bold experiment: to eat nothing but McDonald’s food for 30 days. The results are somewhat shocking, even now, and caused a big impact when the film was released, arguably changing consumer behaviour and prompting US fast-food companies to offer healthier choices. A good one to watch with a burger-loving kids, that should be followed by a conversation about why this kind of food is in the ‘occasional’ category. Spurlock has recently made a sequel, too, in which he attempts to open his own fast-food restaurant.
Available on Amazon Prime
Watch the trailer

5 Big Night (1996)

Watch for: A story of brotherly love with sumptuous Italian-American food
Two Italian brothers, played superbly by the great Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub, open a New Jersey restaurant in the 1950s cooking the food from their home country. The traditional Italian fare doesn’t go down too well with the locals, though, used to spaghetti and meatballs. The film is the story of immigrants trying to make a home in a new land, without losing touch their old one. The food scenes will have you craving pasta and risotto, and the vintage costumes are worth watching for, too. Belissima.
Available on YouTube
Watch the trailer

Date modified: 3 February 2020
First published: Feb 2020


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