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COLUMN: Here are some delectable food-themed movies and television to watch this Thanksgiving Break



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“Ratatouille” was released in 2007. The Pixar movie features Remy the rat, whose dream it is to be a great chef.  Movie Stills Database Buy Photos

There’s nothing more American than creating a holiday dedicated to eating based off the erasure of the genocide of indigenous peoples. In celebration of an entire week of no school and lots of food, here are some scrumptious food-themed movies and T.V. shows to watch:

Amélie (2001)

Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s sweet and fanciful romantic drama is one of the most wondrously cheerful movies ever made. The perfect movie to cuddle up with a pile of warm blankets and watch on a cold winter’s day, it’s also filled with delectable looking eats. 

Jeunet’s eye for playful sensuality renders the already vibrant streets of Paris with a vivid and playful energy that carries throughout the movie’s every detail, and especially the food. Sound design and cinematography are of the utmost importance here, and with careful framing and sonically pleasant sound-work, he creates a film that is rich and textured, where nothing feels more deeply satisfying than the cracking of the crust on a creamy crème brulee.

Chef (2014)

Jon Favreau, the director of such cinematic behemoths as Marvel’s first two “Iron Man” flicks, reined things in for a more restrained, character-focused story with his 2014 movie “Chef.” It follows a renowned chef at an upscale restaurant who returns to his creative roots by quitting his restaurant job and buying a food truck. 

For a director who spent much of his career directing extravagant, big-budget actioners, it’s easy to see the personal effect of the story on Favreau, who returns to his own creative roots much as the protagonist of his film does. There’s little subtlety to that parallel, as Favreau directs and stars in the film, but that ultimately fosters earnesty, and what a meal he cooks up. “Chef” is a meal as fun and flavorful as the food its star creates.

Ratatouille (2007)

Maybe it’s the pretentious choice, but “Ratatouille” remains one of Pixar’s most exciting and refined films. It’s playful, fun and has humor to spare, but more importantly, it has the same warm emotional core as the studio’s best endeavors. 

It’s hard to imagine a movie about a rat cooking food in Paris working or being anything but bizarre, but in the simple and fun story director Brad Bird finds emotion and energy in droves, rendering what could easily have become nonsense to something meaningful and energetic. 

And that’s not to mention that the food onscreen looks downright drool-worthy. The creativity and visual playfulness on display is a marvel to behold, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t want precisely that ratatouille when the credits roll.

Hannibal (2013-2015)

The most disturbing thing about “Hannibal,” Bryan Fuller’s ambitious and nightmarish television adaptation of the famous “Silence of the Lambs” cannibal, is how downright delicious the meals look. 

He leans into the dramatic irony of the premise, revealing early on what a worse show might delay until far too late in the series: that Hannibal, the psychiatrist of a renowned FBI criminal profiler, is also a sadistic cannibal. Set years before “Silence of the Lambs” and its stellar predecessor, “Manhunter,” the series explores the complex relationships between its characters with dark fervor. 

Hannibal, himself, brought to life with tremendous gravitas by Mads Mikkelsen, is equal parts nightmarish and alluring, largely because he’s so outwardly refined and charismatic. And worst of all, every plate of food he serves looks devilishly delectable.

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