Oscar-nominated filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen have proven they can turn the life of public figures into compelling, can’t-miss documentaries (RBG, My Name Is Pauli Murray). With the release of their project Julia, a new name joins that list of feminist icons: celebrity chef Julia Child.
The doc looks just as enlightening and inspirational as West and Cohen’s previous titles. But because of what Child and her unconventional career bring to the table, this one is also something different: delicious. Full of sizzling close-ups of Child’s kitchen creations—her beef bourguignon, French onion soup and coq au vin, to name a few—it’s enough to have our stomachs growling.
It also has us thinking about other mouthwatering meals we’ve seen at the movies. We’ve assembled our ideal movie menu below. Read it on an empty stomach if you dare.
And … as Julia Child would say, bon appétit!
Julia is now playing in select theaters.
There’s nothing like a home-cooked, family meal … especially when dad is a retired chef. We’ll take any one of the dishes Mr. Chu prepares for his three daughters during the movie’s hypnotizing and deliciously detailed opening sequence. We remember the rice dish with pork and the homemade dumplings in particular, but the Sunday dinner spread includes so much more. (We’re just glad we’re not on clean-up duty, because Mr. Chu uses dozens of pots and pans to make it all happen.)
Instant noodles don’t sound like something to gush about, but the “ram-don” in this multiple Oscar-winning thriller is made special by two things: the addition of some premium beef, and a whole lot of adrenaline. Mrs. Kim is the indisputable queen of multitasking as she cooks against the clock, and it’s the best meal we’ve ever seen made in eight minutes.
A very hungry Peter Pan (Robin Williams) is ready to eat when seated for dinner with the Lost Boys … until he realizes there’s no food in the serving trays. But a little imagination is all it takes to clue him into the bangarang feast the boys around him are enjoying: fruit bowls, cheese blocks, ginormous roasts, yes, but also a neon-colored whipped cream-like dish that comes in handy when a food fight breaks out. We’re dying to know what that one tastes like.
Just because a movie is animated doesn’t mean its food scenes look imaginary. We can all but taste the plate of spaghetti and meatballs that Lady and Tramp are treated to outside Tony’s Restaurant. And we’ve yet to find such a yummy rendition of the dish in real life.
We’d also love to find a plate of ratatouille that looks like the one Remy whips together (by way of Linguini, of course) in this culinary Pixar classic. We have a feeling the rodent chef would love Julia Child, by the way: She and Remy’s idol Chef Gusteau (whose catchphrase is “Anyone can cook”) have both done a lot to make the world of fine dining a less pretentious place.
The food at competing establishments Le Saule Pleureur and Maison Mumbai is exceptional (at least when Helen Mirren’s character Madame Mallory isn’t blocking the food supply chain …). The former joint prepares upscale French dishes, while the Kadam family offers Indian cuisine at the latter. Both menus have no shortage of delicacies, but the one dish that we keep thinking about is Hassan’s iconic omelet, which—much like Remy and Linguini—is made in collaboration with Madame Mallory: his vision, her hands.
And our dream meal might end with a slice of the strudel that SS officer Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) pompously enjoys while interrogating Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent) in Inglourious Basterds. Preferably without all the underlying tension and passive aggression. Plus, we deserve it way, way more than he does.