The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey ★★★★

It's Bollywood meets Hollywood, sorta. I fully enjoyed this romp through the culinary world with Helen Mirren as Madame Mallory, the owner of a Michelin one-star French restaurant, who finds herself in competition with an ultra-authentic Indian eatery called Maison Mumbai just across the street. It's a story about love of food, race relations, competition, small town politics and France's all-important Michelin stars system of rating fine cuisine.

I thought Om Puri was perfectly cast as Papa, the rival restaurateur for whom food service is a family business going back generations. Manish Dayal plays his talented son Hassan, a home-schooled cook whose thirst for culinary knowledge is only exceeded by his growing interest in a sous chef named Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon). There's humor, tragedy, romance, colorful imagery and lots of cultural friction with accented English as the primary means of communication.

Call me old-fashioned, but I really like this kind of feel-good movie with a clear three-act plot. Mirren totally nailed her performance as the stone-hearted widow boss lady who gradually mellows, well deserving of her Golden Globe nomination.

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