“Dinner and a Movie” is a new feature for “Fork on the Road.” I thought I’d pop an occasional recommendation into the mix for films that include food themes, mouthwatering culinary aesthetics or an interesting gastronomic component. Think of these as movies that will take your own “inner fork” on the road for a few hours, transporting you from Vermont (or Vancouver or Verona) to some other delicious place.
Full disclosure first: I’m a film wimp! I can’t watch movies that are too scary or depressing. Instead I gravitate towards kinder, gentler cinemagraphic experiences. Subtitles don’t scare me though. In fact, the more the merrier.
So, if you like to cuddle up with a glass of wine (or a pile of laundry to fold), dinner and a thought-provoking flic, “Dinner and a Movie” should be a pleasant addition for you. I’ll always suggest a food pairing to accompany the film. Please write to me about your favorites. I’d love to watch them, too.
Dinner and a Movie: “Mid August Lunch” (“Pranzo di Ferragosto” filmed in Italian, 2oo8)
Ladies who lunch in all their fading glory, intimately filmed cooking scenes that tempt with verdant asparagus and a bubbling italian macaroni and cheese casserole, and a patient, lovable middle aged protagonist named Gianni (Gianni di Gregorio) — these are just some of the elements that work to make “Mid-August Lunch” a lovely viewing experience. It is a subtle, gem of a movie.
An unemployed Gianni lives in Rome with his 92-year-old mother and spends much of his time looking after her. His debts are mounting, especially on the apartment he and his mother jointly own. When offered a chance to be recused of the debt if he acts as caregiver for another older lady for one night, he reluctantly agrees. Only the caregiving proves to be a little more than Gianni had bargained for.
“Mid August Lunch” is not action-packed. It favors moped scenes shot along a sparkling Tiber River with Gianni in search of freshly caught fish (think “Roman Holiday” fast forwarded fifty years, without the romance) and time in the kitchen over mafia drama. And yet its slow whimsy is exactly what makes it endearing. This film explores themes of nostalgia and aging, older children taking care of elderly parents and the joy of sitting down together at an artfully set table.
Why the title? ”Ferragosto” is an Italian holiday celebrated annually on August 15th. Families and friends gather to feast together and it’s on this day that Gianni finds himself in the company of his own pack of “golden girls”. This is a film for the young at heart. Bring an appetite.
Food Pairing: There’s no question about it, homemade macaroni and cheese (preferably a casserole with big hunks of melted mozzarella) would be a perfect accompaniment.
To See a Trailer of Pranzo di Ferragosto Click Here
For More Movie Facts about Pranzo di Ferragosto Click Here