Saturday, July 9, 2011

food films: 'Big Night'

Columbia/Tri Star

"To eat good food is to be close to God." ~Primo, Big Night

Food movies--is there a better, more soul and spirit full genre? Big Night (1996) is definitely a good choice on that menu. While not as spirit rich as Babette's Feast, it is a strong and full-flavored story of two brothers from Italy struggling to make a success of their small Italian restaurant. 

And nestled in this story beset with the tension between the temptations of success and the integrity of the culinary art (and it is, my friends, an amazing and magical art), is a wonderful meal reminiscent of Babette's in which a neighborhood of competitors, friends, lovers, and new acquaintances sit down to a feast that moves their palettes and their hearts. Alas, not all ends well for our brothers, but that scene gives us the hope that life and love will smooth the wounds and hardships that they--like us--must deal with as they go.

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