July 31st, 2014 / posted by paularath
Manish Dayal and Helen Mirren in the kitchen.

In the kitchen, where cultures are melded, Hassan and Madame Mallory mix up an omelette, a true test of culinary skill.

It’s been a while since I was able to highly recommend a movie. This summer’s selections have not been stellar, at least to my tastes. The last movie I loved was “The Lunchbox,” which I saw in Berkeley with my favorite movie companion, my son Duncan.

August 8 is the opening date for what I deem the must-see movie of summer, 2014: “The Hundred-Foot Journey.”

It’s a charmer all around. The direction is superb, the acting likewise. It’s set in a picturesque, quaint village in the South of France, Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val. It’s produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey. But perhaps most important, it’s directed by Lasse Hallstrom. (He’s one of my very favorite directors. You may remember him from “My Life as a Dog,” “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” “The Cider House Rules” and “Chocolat.”)

“The Hundred-Foot Journey” has romance, cultures clashing and melding through food, and a lovely message: Regardless of how different their cultures may be, people the world over are more alike than different.

While we all know how brilliant actors Helen Mirren and Om Puri are, two newcomers captivate each time they are on screen: Manish Dayal, who plays chef Hassan Haji, and Charlotte Le Bon, who plays Marguerite, have a lovely chemistry and natural way about them. Nothing seems forced or phony.

Suffice to say, I loved the movie, and so did my movie companion, Cheryl Tipton, my dear friend who is visiting from Maui.

It’s summer comfort food and offers the satisfaction of a lush peach with juices dripping down your chin or a delicious cherry cobbler a la mode.

Go see it at Kahala Theatres beginning August 8.  But eat before you go or it will make you ravenous!

– Paula Rath




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