Since getting together for a big meal is off the table this year, let’s take a look at the best on screen meals we’re thankful for. From awkward encounters and painful unspoken secrets to hypercolor food fights, these are our picks for 10 of the best Movie Meals of All Time.
This video was originally published on Nov 23, 2020 on CineFix.
This would normally be the time of year We all get together to share food and Company but with that off the table for Obvious reasons we figured maybe we'd Take a moment to look at all the times That's happened on screen so these are Our picks 10 best meal scenes of all Time [Music] First up we're looking at the classic Awkward meal it's not going great and Nobody is talking about it this is a Lunch of peculiar proclivities in The Breakfast Club Easter at Annie's and Annie Hall milking cats and Meet the Parents meeting the parents in Eraserhead and the reason I'm thinking Of ending things meeting the girlfriend In Lars and the Real Girl and sitting There painfully silently squished Between your boyfriend's parents at a Dinner you didn't want to go to in four Months three weeks and two days Foreign If you look at all these awkward meals Together it starts to become clear that It's not about how everyone's saying the Wrong things but about how nobody's Saying the right things and in four Months three weeks and two days for Seven and a half unbroken minutes that Couldn't be more clear the conversation Is Pleasant polite but it keeps flying Right by the truth of the matter that's
Sitting right in the middle of the Screen something isn't right and the act Of flinging in substantive words across The frame at each other in light of it Starts to become practically painful the Scene by forcing us to stare at the Discomfort in a Warner and not engage With the liveliness captures an Unmistakable sense of aloneness even in A crowded Lively room that anyone who's Ever been to a party and yet still felt A Million Miles Away will immediately Understand Beyond just uncomfortable elephants in The room there is a vast swath of Brilliant meal scenes entirely Structured around all different forms of What isn't being said take the unspoken Secret scene where someone knows Something that the others don't and they All circle around the truth like pushing Peas on a plate hilariously in the bird Cage and Mrs Doubtfire and so very Disturbingly and Hannibal they put it Together in in the mood for love and he Gives it away in Unbreakable it comes to Murder in Titus and jokes about murder In Goodfellas but for our favorite Exploration of unspoken secrets we gotta Turn to Inglorious Bastards but not that One no it is shoshana's lunch with Joseph Goebbels that takes the strudel Or cake Foreign
What starts as a decently tense scene Where the hero shoshana quietly and with Little difficulty conceals her Jewish Ancestry and fake identity despite Private solar's infatuation with her Turns into something else entirely upon Kernel Landa's arrival we know him to be An unbelievably sharp and perceptive Interrogator so the stakes ratchet up Immediately and then something even more Interesting happens the secret that Seems to swim beneath the surface shifts From the fact that shoshana is Concealing her identity to the fact that Landa knows she's concealing her Identity and although neither She nor us Can be too sure we all collectively Squirm with suspense at the realization That we have lost our grip on the Conversation beneath the conversation [Music] Sometimes the secret is that one of the Characters loves the other even better When they both love each other and do That wonderful little dance where they Bashfully tiptoe towards admitting it Nocturnal animals has a highly Underrated example of this while When Harry Met Sally has probably the most Famous of it Pulp Fiction plays with the Danger of forbidden attraction while Tom Jones hilariously uses food to express Sexual desire in a way that really Strains the idea of subtext to its
Limits Citizen Kane is the exact Opposite of this and lady in the Has the most iconic moment of undercover Romance expressed through its food but For our third pick we gotta go with the Exceptional Diner scene from 2016's Moonlight Is what it is That ain't what it is It's you Sharon You don't know me I don't know you Shyron travels back to Miami to see Kevin his childhood love for the first Time in a decade Kevin Cooks Chiron eats And then they catch up but their mutual Attraction is never quite far from the Table you can see love and bravado and Shame and vulnerability flit across Their faces as they attempt to navigate A history neither of them have the words Or the courage for they Dash between Hope and disappointment the real Dialogue exchanged in looks and blocking Until Kevin puts on a song and it Finishes their conversation for them [Music] Foreign the unspoken subtext is more of A conflict a disagreement that gets Played out and worked out without being Directly addressed this is family Control in the guise of dinner table Politics in American History X marital Resentment in Revolutionary Road
Disillusionment in before midnight and Fear of the unknown in signs but for our Number seven pick we think there's Something absolutely incredible about The silent renegotiation of a Relationship contract in the climactic Dinner of phantom thread you're not Going to die You might wish you're going to die but You're not going to You need to settle down a little Phantom thread is Shock full of Spectacular dining scenes from the cold Quiet breakfasts to the fiery dinner Arguments but there's nothing quite so Incredible as the moment where after Having secretly poisoned Woodcock and Finding that they both enjoyed the Relationship Dynamic much more Afterwards she poisons his dinner in Front of him and then he willingly eats It the scene is an incredibly tense game Of chicken and navigated almost entirely Through non-verbal cues the way she Pours the water the way he chews the Food his decision to swallow each tiny Gesture has meaning consequences and Above all they matter And sometimes the unspoken subtext of a Meal is really just about power and Without ever directly addressing that Fact the conversation is a proxy battle About it this is the final dinner in The Cook the Thief His Wife and Her Lover a
Terrible Thanksgiving incent of a woman A hilarious conversation about Menstruation in 20th century women the Big first meal in August Osage County Every single meal in the lighthouse and Our number six pick The Uninvited Breakfast in the German house the Division is occupying in Fury offer the Girl or plate Foreign When the rest of the men barge in mid Breakfast accusing Don and Norman of Playing house and not inviting them Drunk angry and with something to prove The meal quickly becomes a dangerous Battlefield on which the men try to Undermine humiliate and sabotage the two Of them while maintaining plausible Deniability that that's what they're Doing in the process everything but Weapons becomes a weapon the food the Way they take up space especially the Two women in the house the tendency for Occupying forces to commit heinous war Crimes is never far from the viewers Minds which really expands the cruel Possibilities of how bad the unspoken Really could be Conflict can't always stay below the Surface though sometimes the unspoken Cast to boil over into the open and Frankly it can be kind of a relief when It does like in the asparagus dinner of American Beauty or the spaghetti dinner
Of 10 Cloverfield lane or the steak Dinner gone wrong of Raging Bull or the Piece of toast that just wouldn't come In Five Easy Pieces or the traumatic Reckoning in hereditary feston's speech Of Truth is a brutal surfacing of Something everyone perversely wishes Would stay unspoken but for our fifth Pick It's gotta be the dinner parlay With salazzo [Music] Foreign [Music] Because we've already done a whole Brilliant moment segment on it which you Should definitely check out but it's Just too fantastic to leave off the list It's filled with Secrets suspense power Negotiation the kinds of empty niceties Concealing serious threats that make for All the best meal scenes and then a Misdirect a massive train wheel Screeching Crescendo and an explosion of Everything previously unsaid Unleashed Upon salazzo and his crony [Music] Sometimes the conflict is right out There in the open and the dinner table Becomes the venue for some good Old-fashioned competition this is Andrew Dunking on his cousins in Whiplash and It's Pluto starting a food fight in Animal House if De Niro and Pacino had Ordered a goddamn pastry to go with
Their coffee and heat we probably would Have picked that but we don't feel too Bad about it because we get to talk About the insult game in Hook instead Substitute chemistry teacher Math tutor Pinhead Prison Barber model lover nearsighted Gynecologist and your face camel cake in Your rear cow derriere lying clients Buying Prine Ultra Pig you loot crude Rude back a pre-chooed food dude Hook's dinner scene is filled with Enough hilarious creative Brilliance for Two whole excellent meal seats dividing Into teams and hurling ever more Ridiculous childish insults at each Other with oohs and Oz and bangarangs as Peter relearns how to tap into his Playfulness is on its own fantastic but Do that over a meal of play pretend food That magically transforms into a Ridiculous multi-colored Feast with the Power of belief over one of the more Fantastically surprising uses of a Simple cut found in modern film and You've got the makings of a classic the Writing brilliantly captures childhood Humor the energy finds the perfect Balance of love and aggression and the Food fight that emerges is one of the Best ever on screen Sometimes a cinematic meal is less about Any specific conflict or plot movement And more about painting a picture of how
A group of people relates call this the Family portrait meal you see it in the Opening of Little Miss Sunshine cross The length of Eat Drink Man Woman soul Food and The Big Chill at Thanksgiving In Avalon but never more marvelously Than in the Christmas Feast of Fannie And Alexander Nowhere on film has the sprawling Intergenerational Dynamic of a family Been better mapped through time than in Fannie and Alexander and Christmas Dinner sees all the disparate threads Finally come together into one room all At once a togetherness that the rest of The film will see the family struggling To recapture and will not be repeated Until its very end and it's got a little Bit of everything song cheer Intergenerational disconnect substance Problems class struggle creepy uncles The shadow of trauma all swirling around One massive dinner table it's a snapshot Of one unique family with all their Lovingly cataloged peculiarities handled With such specificity that it almost Starts to feel Universal the people in Our lives are all idiosyncratic in their Own ways but bergman's characters are Exactly the same amount of idiosyncratic Which somehow makes you feel like he's Actually kind of captured all of them Sometimes simple meals can be about even Less than the family sometimes they're
Just about the joy of Conversation Over A bite to eat Diner Delights in many of These moments while Reservoir Dogs Prologues with one My Dinner with Andre Is an entire film about two people just Eating and talking while coffee and Cigarettes follows a bunch of vignettes Admittedly over more beverage than food But if it's just eating and talking They'll be doing there's no one we'd Rather watch at it than Steve Coogan and Rob brydon like they did in their very First meal of the trip I've not heard Your Michael Kane but I assume it would Be something along the lines of onions That is where you are so wrong and you Can look at my live videos The very thing I don't do well I said do Your mic okay okay I say Michael can Used to talk like this in the 1960s Right but that has changed and I say That over the years Michael's voice has Kept that several acted let me finish And all of the cigars and the Brandy Don't let me finish you can now be heard Okay no I'm not finished real Life actors play themselves traveling Around the north England eating and Vaguely competing with each other as old Friends do mostly over who does better Impressions it's just two very Entertaining friends bullshitting and It's never better in its pointlessness Than when they bring out their dueling
Canes but there are no Stakes Beyond ego No ends other than the competition Itself no judges other than each other And one gets to sense that they do it More to fill the time amuse themselves And bond than to actually win [Music] And finally we turn to the rarest movie Meal of them all the one that's Seriously just about what's on the plate Where Cinema makes our mouths water and Stomachs growl where we spend all our Attention delighting in the food in Ratatouille In Like Water for Chocolate In the big night and I am love Beautifully in The Lunchbox miserably in The Turin horse hilariously in tampopo Sensually in nine and a half weeks but Never more magically with more Delight Than the titular meal of Babette's Feast [Music] The hell you believe is damaged off The help is Honda 60. Yeah Anymore A refugee from Paris having been taken In by a deeply religious family and Having earned their trust wins the Lottery for enough money to return her To her former life she chooses instead To secretly spend all of it on one Lavish meal for the congregation in a Massive Act of thanks however when the
Protestants noticed the opulence of the Ingredients she begins importing they Decide in keeping with scripture that it Would be sinful to enjoy such Earthly Pleasures so while they attend the meal To humor her they all agree not to speak Of the food or any enjoyment thereof and So the meal begins Babette laboring in The kitchen making the most marvelous Dishes these quaint Quakers would ever Taste and them pretending not to do so All except their special guest the General and as the Holy Rollers tried to Deflect their Delight with Bland Religious anecdotes the general Pronounces his pleasure with ever Greater eloquence shocked at their Nonchalance until sensation wins the day And no one can any longer resist what we Think is the best movie meal of all time So what do you think disagree with any Of our picks did we leave out any of Your favorite meals let us know in the Comments below and be sure to subscribe For more cinefix movie lists