Break out the popcorn and put your feet up: Judy does food movies

killertomatoesFried Green Tomatoes: Fanny Flagg’s funny-sad 1991 script includes what must be the most memorable barbecue scene on film.

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, 1978 cult classic. Our hero, Mason Dixon, saves the world from rampaging hordes of killer tomatoes. Spoiler alert: in the final scene, expect a giant carrot to rise from the earth and shout, “All right boys, they’re gone!”

Nobody does food like Ang Lee in Eat Drink Man Woman. Knives and cleavers, pots and woks, chopping blocks for dispatching fish. It’s beautiful. Released in Taiwan in 1994, Eat, Drink is timeless.

tampopoTortilla Soup, the 2001 American version of Eat, Drink, was yet another Ang Lee banquet. Compelling and romantic.

Tampopo. You’ve heard of spaghetti westerns? This 1985 Japanese release is a noodle western, a funny/sweet story about truck-drivin’, boot-wearin’ Japanese cowboys who love to eat ramen, and about the woman who cooks it for them. The world, reflected in a bowl of soup.

The Ramen Girl. This 2009 Korea/Japan collaboration, is a pale imitation of Tampopo. The plot: naïve American girl follows jerky boyfriend to Osaka. Abandoned, she falls weeping into a ramen shop for comfort. A bowl of ramen saves the day, but not the plot, which grows extremely thin.

babetteBabette’s Feast: (1987) The original slow food story by Isak Dinesen is elegant and drop-dead gorgeous from beginning to end. The fireplace scene in Babette’s kitchen will make your mouth water!

Big Night: Big movie (1997), big food (that timpani!), big feast, and what a party. Once again, food and cooking is all about generosity of spirit. So what if a customer orders risotto with a side of spaghetti? “Maybe she loves starch!”

michelinstarsSuper Size Me: Back in 2004, Morgan Spurlock spent 30 days eating every meal in McDonalds. He gained 24.5 lbs. on the McDiet. Highly political, loaded with bias, Super Size Me was a Sundance favourite. Why pick on McDonald’s? Well, maybe because they control 43 per cent of the fast food market, worldwide.

Michelin Stars: The Madness of Perfection: This 2010 BBC documentary is a must-see for chefs who aspire to fame. Attempting to debunk the three-star Michelin system, the presenter, a London restaurant critic, includes a wrenching interview with Bernard Loiseau’s widow, following his tragic suicide over the possibility of losing a star.

greatchefsONE MYSTERY: Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe (1978). Great chefs are dying, and Jacqueline Bisset is the toothsome pastry chef who finally figures it out: wealthy Robert Benchley, eating too high off the hog for too long, cannot resist a great meal, even if it kills him.

TRIPLE THREAT: Eating Raoul; The Chef, the Thief, his Wife and Her Lover; and La Grande Bouffe. Over the top? Yes, but essential viewing for foodies; cannibalism, gorging-to-death, hot sex in cold kitchens…the works.

jujuliaRatatouille: Disney does dinner in this charming animation about a rat who loves to cook. I know, I know – rats don’t belong in kitchens, but you gotta love this winsome little rodent.

Julie and Julia. Julie Powell, the woman who famously ripped off Julia Child’s classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking to use in her own cheesy food blog, probably still wonders why Julia didn’t say thanks. Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci are terrific as Julia and Paul, the food-loving Childs.

Judy likes her movies with kettle corn and extra butter.