The Hundred Foot Journey (2014) Dir. Lasse Hallstrom – QFT Belfast 13th Sept
Who’s in it? Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal
What’s it about? The Hundred Foot Journey is another French flavoured foody dram-com from Chocolat director Lasse Hallstrom, in which culinary traditionalist and overbearing matriarch Mme Mallory (Mirren) is eventually melted by the unorthodox charm of her new Indian neighbours, eventually taking budding young chef Hasan (Dayal) under her wing. As the two conflicting cultures clash, and bring out the sugar and spice in each other, both immigrants and locals discover their common interests and end up becoming nicer neighbours as they feed their mutual passion for food. The hundred foot of the title refers to the distance between the two opposing restaurants on a cosy street in the small French village where the new arrivals set up shop, and the efforts they both must make to arrive at a fresh perspective.
Memorable Moments? Given its take on the universality of food as a foolproof recipe for understanding, and a means for living the typically French virtue of fraternity, the cooking scenes are appropriately tasty and colourfully convey the striking personalities of both French and Indian cuisine and the cultures that inspire them.
Look who’s talking ‘If The Hundred-Foot Journey ultimately proves no spicier than chicken tikka masala for the soul, that’s Chef Lasse for you. At his comforting best – and this is close to it – nobody does it milder.’ – Daily Telegraph
Like that? Try this: Chocolat (2000) is a warm, light hearted rom-com contrasting the sensuous with the censorious, new age indulgence with old school restraint, with delicious performances from Juliette Binoche as the free spirited choclatier who ruffles feathers in a rural village, and Johnny Depp as the charming gypsy who tames her, as well as tasty turns from Judy Dench and Alfred Molina.
Trivia Pursuit Juhi Chawla, who plays Mama in the film, was digitally aged in post production.