12 food films to watch during quarantine

Big Night (1996)

Starring a young Stanley Tucci (with an abundant barnet), Big Night is Tucci’s directorial debut in which two brothers from Calabria, Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and Segundo (Tucci) try to bring authentic Italian cuisine to the Jersey Shore in the 1950s with frustrating results. The food at their restaurant, Paradise, is too foreign for the locals’ untrained palates and the venue soon starts to struggle.

When famous Italian-American jazz singer Louis Prima is scheduled to make a cameo at Paradise, the brothers put all of their efforts into creating a feast that will seal the fate of the restaurant. Spending their life savings on the ingredients and inviting newspaper reporters to the event, the meal centres around timpano, a pastry covered baked pasta dish from Calabria.

The movie is brimming with passionate arguments and equally passionate eating. In the final scene, after the singer fails to show up, Secondo quietly cooks an omelette and divides it among three plates, giving one to his waiter, Cristiano, and eating one himself. Primo enters the kitchen and Secondo hands him the last plate. They eat without speaking, laying their arms across one another’s shoulders.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters