Rent Them Now: The 6 Best Food Movies of All Time

With food-filled Oscar contenders on the brain, I asked BA staffers to name their favorite food movies of all time. The results? While it was no surprise to see Tampopo, Babette's Feast, and Eat Drink Man Woman make the list, these foodie classics (and my personal favorites) were beaten out by Like Water for Chocolate, Chocolat, and the winner--by a lot--Ratatouille.

Did we miss the mark? Vote for your favorite food movie or tell us what we forgot in the comments section below.

1. Ratatouille
While the thought of a furry rodent in a restaurant would make anyone cringe, Pixar's animated feature about a rat named Remy who dreams of becoming a chef makes you wonder, "Why didn't anyone make a rags-to-riches animated chef movie about a rat before?" Set in the City of Lights, with consult from chef Thomas Keller, and harnessing amusing characters such as the snooty and irritable restaurant critic Anton Ego, Ratatouille was easily the winner of our office poll. Its message that "anyone-can-cook" inspires the little chef in all of us.

2. Babette's Feast
This Danish Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film gets off to a slow start: Two unmarried sisters who live a pious if spartan life take in French refugee, Babette. But the real treat comes at the end when Babette (who wins a 10,000-franc lottery) prepares a lavish, luscious meal (a solid thirty minutes of food porn at its finest) - Champagne, cheese, caviar, quail in puff pastry, turtle soup; flambeing, chopping and stuffing; close-ups and pans; and a table of previously stale parishioners indulging in the pleasures of food and wine. In the end, Babette has us salivating (she had been a famous chef in Paris, hence her culinary skills) and appreciating her nonsensical sensibility to splurge on a grand feast (she spent every last penny she had).

3. Like Water for Chocolate
Based on Laura Esquivel's magic realist novel, Like Water for Chocolate illustrates the power of food as storytelling. Set in Mexico, Tita's life is performed in the kitchen--from her birth on the kitchen table to her tears and passion in her cooking.

4. Chocolat
With the seductive cast of Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, Chocolat shows the magical affects of chocolate (like Montezuma's cacao) to impassion, enliven, empower, and seduce.

5. Big Night
If Babette's Feast is a visual education on French home cooking, then Big Night is its Italian counterpart. Two Italian-American brothers (Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci) struggle to run an authentic Italian restaurant at odds with the American conception of Italian food (spaghetti with meatballs alongside risotto?) and prepare for a feast for their special dinner guest. While the guest of honor never shows, a grand Italian feast ensues.

6. Tampopo
East meets west and old meets new in this comical, satirical movie about a woman's quest to open the best ramen shop with the help of a cowboy hat-wearing friend. Leave it to the food-obsessed Japanese to highlight a step-by-step guide on how to eat ramen and use food as foreplay (literally).

7. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
8. Julie & Julia
9. Eat Drink Man Woman
10. Mostly Martha

Honorable mentions: Delicatessen, Food, Inc., Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, The Cove, Home for the Holidays, Eating, Goodfellas, and PeeWee's Big Adventure

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