Speaking of Oprah Winfrey, she was one of the producers (Stephen Spielberg shares some of the blame too) of a movie I just saw titled The Hundred Foot Journey. Since the action takes place in France you might think it could be called The 30.48 Metre Walk, but it’s not the kind of movie that responds to much interrogation.
It’s the old story: self-taught Indian cook from Mumbai moves with his family to a super-picturesque village in France, sets up an Indian restaurant opposite a pre-existing fancy French restaurant that has one Michelin star. Antagonism ensues, but is is overcome. Self-taught Indian cook self-teaches himself French cuisine, goes to work at the French restaurant, gets them another Michelin star, then moves to Paris to become a molecular gastronomist.
But wouldn't you know it, he finds his heart is back in the French restaurant with the French fille he loves, and he returns to get them their third star. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, it was not, despite the presence of Helen Mirren.
Anyway, the movie was trite and predictable, and infinitely manipulative, but somehow irresistible. The acting was all pretty good, and Helen Mirren of course was magnificent, because she always is, despite in this case brandishing a French accent that Inspector Clouseau would think was ridiculous.
One morning in the movie she berates the kitchen staff in her restaurant for serving droopy asparagus the night before. Quite why she waits till the morning after to do the berating isn’t clear. Surely she could have done it when, or before, the asparagus was being served.
Anyway, it’s true enough that droopy asparagus is a bad thing, which of course reminds one of this shot from The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. That asparagus could definitely be straighter. Symbolic, probably.