Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant or gone to culinary school could watch this over and over just to catch all the spot-on professional details (director Brad Bird interned at the award-winning French Laundry in the Napa Valley and consulted numerous chefs from both France and the U.S.). The rest of us can simply enjoy this lovely animated movie for adults.
Big Night (1996)
Yes, the timpano is amazing, but the real soul of the movie is this final scene--shot as one unbroken, five-minute take--when Secondo (Stanley Tucci) silently cooks an omelet for two hungry and exhausted kindred souls.
We can never cut garlic without thinking of the prison dinner scene, when Paulie Cicero (Paul Sorvino) painstakingly slices a clove of garlic with a razor blade so that it liquifies in the pan.
Babette’s Feast (1987)
The first in a series of late '80s and early '90s movies that celebrated the lush sensuality and pleasure of cooking, eating and sharing food. It has many gorgeous scenes, including the presentation of the Cailles en Sarcophage (quail in a "sarcophagus" of puff pastry with foie gras and truffles), but perhaps none as evocative as this almost painterly view of Babette and her beautiful ingredients.
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Arguably the greatest scene in a truly great movie involves eggs. Fifty of them, to be exact, proving that Paul Newman could do anything.
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
"Okay, I'll make it as easy for you as I can. I'd like an omelet plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast, no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce and a cup of coffee…. Now all you have to do is hold the chicken, bring me the toast, give me a check for the chicken salad sandwich, and you haven't broken any rules" Gets us every time.
Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)
The opening scene of this luscious movie is a mouthwatering marvel of sights, sounds, cruelty and beauty. It tells us everything we need to know about cooking, eating … and love.
The Apartment (1960)
Don't we all have a soft spot (at least in the retelling) for those days at the beginning of adulthood, when we were too poor and struggling to have a colander?
Julie and Julia (2009)
This moment between Julia and Paul Child (the incomparable Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci) conveys all the joy of both romantic love and love of food and the table. Apparently it was really like that for this couple, who famously sent a Valentine's card showing them both in a bubble bath, as she stared adoringly into the eyes of the man who taught her everything about pleasure.
Marie Antoinette (2006)
We could do without the ridiculous modern soundtrack and over-the-top excesses, but the scenes of pastry and pastillage in Sofia's Coppola's historical drama are undeniably gorgeous. By the way,the real Marie Antoinette seldom ate anything in public, though she is credited with bringing the croissant with her from Vienna.
Tom Jones (1963)
It's not food, it's sex, as the lascivious Mrs. Waters—with her heaving bosom and red-red lips—makes clear in the iconic tavern scene. No wonder it was so often parodied.
The search for the perfect noodle and the rescue of a small roadside ramen shop drives this cult-favorite comedy from Japan. Oscar winner Ken Watanabe plays the younger trucker, Gun, in one of his first roles.
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
"I'll have what she's having." The table at Katz's Deli still has a sign hanging above it commemorating where Meg Ryan proves her point about faking it, in a scene that had to be filmed … multiple times.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Who can forget the scene when Willy (Gene Wilder in one of his best roles) eats his chocolate liqueur cups and bacon cups and other edible cups?
Like Water for Chocolate (1992)
Lust has turned many foods into aphrodisiacs, but none quite so romantic as the magical quail that Tita (Lumi Cavazos) cooks in a rose petal sauce made from the bouquet her suitor brings her, thickened with a drop of her blood from the thorns. (We won't even quibble that the scene shows Cornish game hens, not quail,)
9 1/2 Weeks (1986)
Now get a room.
Sometimes flattery will get you everywhere
Thunder only happens when it's raining—and this band went through a downpour
Fresh perspectives on aging in films that are genuinely moving or funny—and often both
Hit singles of the '70s and early '80s that had only one mission—to make you get up and dance
The Backwoods Barbie who became a country-pop icon
Major stars whose performances landed on the cutting room floor