The Toronto International Film Festival has influenced us for over two decades, inspiring our windows and turning Toronto into a global stage for new talent, the brightest stars, and films on the burning issues of today. TIFF is not only an eleven-day festival but a cultural charity with an initiative on women in film, #shareherjourney, which commits to increasing participation, skills, and opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera, including ambassadors such as: Deepa Mehta, Carol Nguyen, Jennifer Baichwal and Priyanka Chopra. Since it is our job to help set the tables where we should all have a seat, here is our tongue-in-cheek trip down memory lane- where tablescaping, in film, comes to the forefront.
The Farewell (2019), a bittersweet comedy directed by Lulu Wang, starring Awkwafina, includes a wedding banquet that starts off tame but ends in karaoke, ecstatic laughter, and liquor fuelled sobbing as the camera pans from one face to another around the head table. Did Nai Nai (grandma) order lobster or not? We will never know. #itwaslobsternotcrab
Big Night (1996), a tale of two brothers played by Tony Shaloub and Stanley Tucci (co-director) in which a last great meal is created- the one to save their restaurant. The fight between Tony and Stanley to serve dishes that appeal to their customers’ palates is legendary. Clearly this movie would never be plausible in foodie town T.O., 416 and 905 included. #passtheparmesan
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989). It is said that vengeance is a dish best served cold but in the gripping thriller by director Peter Greenaway, starring Dame Helen Mirren, revenge is served roasted with all the trimmings. This visual feast in shades of red with costumes by Jean-Paul Gaultier will glue you to the screen. #weregoingtoneedabiggerplatter
If vengeance is not your thing, we suggest our favourite film in this category, Oscar winning Babette’s Feast (1987), where actress Stéphan Audran plays a French refugee from the Franco-Prussian war who spends her entire winnings from a lottery on a lavish feast for the pious villagers of a remote Danish village in the 1870’s. For servant Babette, it is far better to give than receive. #tastesliketeamspirit
We look forward to bumping into you at the star-studded opening of The Goldfinch, or in the seats at the compelling film, Made In Bangladesh, among many others, this September at TIFF 2019.
*** Post slider: Louis de Funès in Le Grand Restaurant (1966) used in Bernardaud’s 150th anniversary video, on view in our window.