We went with some friends to see The Hundred Foot Journey on Saturday evening. This is opening weekend here in the U.S., so that was pretty early for me to venture out to the theater.
I'm going to admit that I never got through the book, but I was seduced by the trailers and by the fact that the movie showed beautiful French countryside and was filmed in the village where Sally, my blogging friend, lives.
Often, the words were spoken in French then someone repeated them in English or part of what they said was translated so it became obvious as to the meaning.
The movie rushes through the beginning part that is set in India, showing the love of the family for each other as they create food in their own restaurant, before the political difficulties that led to them being driven from their restaurant and their mother dying. Sad, they plan to search Europe for a place to start a new restaurant. Their brakes fail in Southwestern France, and that's where they set up, just across the street from a Michelin-star restaurant run by Helen Mirren's character. A rivalry ensues.
Some of my favorite scenes showed the rivalry increasing as the Indian cooks prepared for their restaurant opening, cutting vegetables and meat to Indian music, which quickly segued into the classic French chefs chopping vegetables to classical music.
The scenes set in St. Antonin felt truly French, even though I know they included false store fronts. The long shots of the village nestled in a valley were breathtaking. I'm not sure if the faraway shots were of Sally's village or not, but I'm sure she'll let us know when she sees the movie. In France, the movie doesn't come out until September.
My husband had read the book, and he told me there was a lot more sex. The movie barely whispered of sex, A scene of Marguerite and Hassan with rumpled clothing, although romance bloomed throughout.
Any criticisms of the movie? As much as I love Helen Mirren in this role, maybe they should have chosen a French actress. Even Charlotte Le Bon is Canadian rather than French. I wonder if her French accent sounds Canadian to the French. And I wonder how Mirren's French and her accent sound to the French too.
This movie is probably too American for the French, but what can we say: We Americans love a happy ending, a lesson learned, a conflict resolved.
Thanks for playing along today with Dreaming of France. Please visit each other's blog so that you can have even more experiences in the country we love.