23 August 2011

In Which We Watch

 We aren't big TV watchers, but my, how we love a good DVD. Between our local library that carries a staggering selection and our beloved Netflix, we have so many options that are free or darn close to it.

Inspired by Christian's list (which was most helpful in loading up our Netflix queue), I thought I'd assemble one of my own. Don't we all like a few recommendations? Not knowing where to even begin, I thought I would start with one of my most favorite genres: Food.

In no particular order:

1. Babette's Feast
Philippa and Martina turn down a chance to leave their Danish town, instead staying to care for their pastor father and his small church. Thirty-five years later, a French woman seeks refuge, and Philippa and Martina take her in. The feast the woman prepares in gratitude is eclipsed only by her secret in director Gabriel Axel's Oscar-winning drama.

Blown in by the north wind, an iconoclastic single mother and her young daughter move into a peaceful French village and open an uncommon chocolate shop during the height of Lent -- directly across the street from a church. At first, the shop's rich, sensuous desserts scandalize the town. But the villagers soon learn to savor the sweetness.

In director María Ripoll's bilingual drama, widower Martin Naranjo is a Los Angeles restaurateur with a booming business and three headstrong daughters, who are all on the verge of leaving the house to pursue their individual destinies. He knows he must let go, but things get even more complicated when brassy neighbor Hortensia sets her sights on Martin.

Despite its superb cuisine, an Italian restaurant run by immigrant brothers Primo and Secondo is on the verge of bankruptcy. But the siblings risk everything to save their bistro when they get the chance to cook up a feast for bandleader Louis Prima. 

Amy Adams stars in this truth-inspired tale as Julie Powell, who decides to enliven her uneventful life by cooking all 524 recipes outlined in Julia Child's culinary classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking

6. Mostly Martha
German director Sandra Nettelbeck whips up this tragicomic tale about an uptight professional chef named Martha, who finds her world turned upside down when she takes in her newly orphaned niece, Lina, and tries her hand at parenting. Martha's obsession with precision gourmet cooking extends to discussing recipes with her bewildered therapist and verbally attacking anyone who attempts to send her food back.

7. Eat Drink Man Woman
**Haven't seen this one yet, but it's in my queue! Has received great reviews.

Now it's your turn ... any faves for me?

*Keep in mind that you may need to use your own judgment upon viewing. While these movies either didn't contain material we found excessively offensive, or it was solvable with a little fast-forward here or there, your sensibilities may be different.


  1. French rom-coms, British period miniseries,'s all I ever watch :). Jean de Fleurette and Manon of the Spring are old favs from my childhood :). As are any of the classic Fred Astaire dance films.

  2. Ahhh... both of those are French faves of ours. Gerarde Depardieu is brilliant in them.

    And speaking of British mini-series, have you seen Downton Abbey yet? Tad on the racy/inappropriate side (I'm thinking of a few scenes we fast-forwarded through), but very addictive.

  3. Thanks for sharing... I'll definitely be adding some of these to our queue. I chuckled as I reflected on your purposeful theme of food and my accidentall theme of art... what could be better than evenings filled with both?!

  4. Between your list and Christian's, our que will be full! Yea! I'm terrible about picking movies...can't wait for these!

  5. just updated my que! thank you!!!!!

  6. I recommend the BBC drama Larkrise to Candleford. They produced four seasons of it, all of which are available through netflix. It's very Victorian and pretty mild.

  7. How about BBC's 2010 'Sherlock Holmes'? One would think you wouldn't like to see Sherlock texting, but ... Not for children or the squeamish. Only 3 made last year, and the cliffhanger for 2011's season has us itching for conclusion!

    Surely someone has suggested the HBO miniseries 'John Adams'? 2006 i think. To read the score while watching it performed is on my bucket list.

    deb meyers

  8. yes, Larkrise to Candleford!


    And Season 1 of BBC's "All Creatures Great and Small" (1980s?) is de-ee-lightful!