Culture / Film

Your next night in is served – here are our favourite movies about food

movies about food

Movies about food are, in my mind at least, the most sustaining. Whether it's a fleeting scene or a dedicated documentary; who could forget the Ram-Don from Parasite or yes, Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out? However, it's notoriously difficult for actors to pull off eating on camera, and it's even harder for films to pull of cooking on screen. It's why Anthony Bourdain famously said his favourite movie about food was Ratatouille, not Burnt or Chef. It's why TV shows like The Bear are outliers. So below, find a list of movies about food that get it right to feast on next.


Boiling Point (2021)


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If you want to step into the racing world of cooking, this is hands down the best example that's out there. Remember episode seven of The Bear which was extremely stressful and shot in one take? It's kind of like that, except Boiling Point director Philip Barantini did it first. The film has a level of grit and earned anxiety that movies like Burnt lack. It captures the pressurised, high stakes nature of service through the eyes of head chef Andy Jones and his overworked team on a Friday night. There's nut allergies, hellish guests, a random appearance from a high profile celebrity chef and rival, tantrums and illicit substances. No Reservations could never.


Big Night (1996)

Starring Mr Searching For Italy himself, this cult classic film revolves around two Italian-American brothers making one last ditch effort to save their restaurant. There's fisticuffs, table wine, Timpano and an iconic omelette scene that will stay with you forever. If that's not enough to park you down in front of the screen, Tony Shalhoub, Isabella Rossellini, Marc Anthony and Minnie Driver might do the trick.


Babette's Feast (1987)

Widely considered a masterpiece, Babette's Feast is the work of Gabriel Axel and adapted from a story by Isak Dinesen. It follows a French refuge who flees to Denmark and becomes the maid of two spinster sisters. When she wins the lottery, she decides to cook a sumptuous feast for the austere villagers.


Queen (2013)


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A breakout indie flick, Queen became film of the year in Bollywood for its fun, hopeful and entertaining story of 24-year-old Rani, who is jilted by her fiance just before their wedding. When Rani chooses to take her honeymoon in Paris anyway, she grows into herself, with the encouragement of her father and the help of new friends Vijayalakshmi, Tim, Oleksander and Taka. The food part? Rani's golgappa she makes as part of a food competition in Amsterdam. I want one.


The Founder (2016)


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What is more food-adjacent than the movie that tracks how McDonalds went from family-owned business to corporate fast food chain. Granted, the real story where Michael Keaton's Ray Kroc strongarms brothers Dick and Mac out of their restaurant is kind of dark and depressing, but you can cry into a cheeseburger after. I guarantee you'll crave one.

Heartburn (1986)


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Each stage of Rachel Samstat's declining marriage to Marc Forman is marked by a specific recipe. However, the one that stands out is the carbonara in bed – a beacon of good times and post-coital daze. Based on Nora Ephron's book of the same name, which was criticised as a "thinly-veiled" account of her marriage to Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein, stay for Meryl Streep, pass for Jack Nicholson.


Howl's Moving Castle (2004)


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Everyone loves this Studio Ghibli classic, so much so Loewe created a sold out collection around it. The Japanese animation studio, loved for its eccentric storytelling and Hayao Miyazaki's unique style, is also lauded for its mouthwatering food scenes. There's even a cookbook about it. One such scene you'll find in Howl's Moving Castle, where Calcifer is stoked so that Sophie can cook a breakfast of bacon and eggs.


Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of Jiro Ono, widely considered a master of sushi. From his small ten-seat restaurant operating out of a Tokyo train station, the 97-year-old prepares a fastidious 20-course omakase meal. Just how painstaking is the process? That's what the documentary aims to spotlight; from the discerning seafood selects made at Tsukiji market to his apprentice's 200 attempts at making the perfect tamago.


Sideways (2004)

A road movie that follows best friends, Miles and Jack, as they tour Californian wine country before Jack gets hitched. While Sideways is more obsessed with grapes over grub, both boozehounds and gluttons will appreciate it. Oh, and it stars Sandra Oh, for anyone missing the Killing Eve actress.


Wallace & Gromit: A Grand Day Out (1989)

A real IYKYK food movie. Run out of cheese before a bank holiday? Why not fly a rocket to the moon, which everyone knows is made out of cheese. That's some real lateral thinking if you ask me. Wallace and Gromit saw America's famous cheese bunker and decided to one up it.


Departures (2008)

While much of this existential film should put you off your dinner considering it's set in a mortuary, there is one reason it's on this list. If you're not familiar with the Japanese tradition of eating KFC for Christmas, then you will be after watching Departures. When the holidays roll around, Daigo, a has-been cellist, breaks bread with his boss and colleague by tearing into a mound of fried chicken in a satisfying and somewhat unnerving scene.


Mystic Pizza (1988)

Set in the summer after they finish high school, Julia Roberts plays Daisy Araujo who, along with her sensible sister Kat and the feisty yet soft-hearted Jojo, work at Mystic Pizza slinging out pies. Pizza, the ultimate comfort food, is a meal over which love, heartbreak, betrayal and confusion play out.


Ratatouille (2007)


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Described by Anthony Bourdain as "quite simply the best food movie ever made", it would be blasphemous to exclude Ratatouille from this list. A Pixar film that follows Remy, a rat that aspires to the heavenly levels of French fine dining, as he teams up with Linguini, lowly kitchen porter of Gusteau's. Together, the pair prove that fine art can come from the most surprising of places, including the gutter.

Marie Antoinette (2007)

For a woman that supposedly said "let them eat cake," Sofia Coppola ensures that in her version of Marie Antoinette's life, the audience is well-fed. Whether that's visually, through the grandiose sets with tables of delicately frosted cakes and pyramids of champagne, the lineup of Kirsten Dunst, Rose Byrne, Jamie Dornan and Judy Davis, or the stellar soundtrack comprising of New Order and Adam and the Ants.


Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)


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Most of us will remember Kramer vs. Kramer for Meryl Streep's trench coats and the costumes courtesy of Ruth Morle. However, the brilliance of the film was the way food conveyed the changing family roles and shifts in domesticity. From the forced "having a great time" French toast with Dustin Hoffman's eggy fingers to the evolved iteration that came when son and father got into a rhythm. Who could forget chocolate chip ice cream for dinner or the sad Salisbury steak?

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