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The Hundred-Foot Journey

2014, Comedy/Drama, 2h 2m

What to know

Critics Consensus

Director Lasse Hallström does lovely work and Helen Mirren is always worth watching, but The Hundred-Foot Journey travels predictable ground already covered by countless feel-good dramedies. Read critic reviews

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The hundred-foot journey videos, the hundred-foot journey   photos.

Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is an extraordinarily talented and largely self-taught culinary novice. When he and his family are displaced from their native India and settle in a quaint French village, they decide to open an Indian eatery. However, Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), the proprietress of an acclaimed restaurant just 100 feet away, strongly objects. War erupts between the two establishments, until Mallory recognizes Kadam's impressive epicurean gifts and takes him under her wing.

Rating: PG (Language|Brief Sensuality|Some Violence|Thematic Elements)

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Original Language: English

Director: Lasse Hallström

Producer: Steven Spielberg , Oprah Winfrey , Juliet Blake

Writer: Steven Knight

Release Date (Theaters): Aug 8, 2014  wide

Release Date (Streaming): Nov 22, 2015

Box Office (Gross USA): $54.2M

Runtime: 2h 2m

Distributor: Walt Disney

Production Co: Amblin Entertainment, Harpo Films

Sound Mix: Datasat, Dolby Digital

Cast & Crew

Helen Mirren

Madame Mallory

Manish Dayal

Hassan Kadam

Charlotte Le Bon

Farzana Dua Elahe

Dillon Mitra

Aria Pandya

Michel Blanc

Clément Sibony


Vincent Elbaz

Juhi Chawla

Alban Aumard

Shuna Lemoine

Mayor's Wife

Antoine Blanquefort

Lasse Hallström

Steven Knight


Steven Spielberg

Oprah Winfrey

Juliet Blake

Caroline Hewitt

Executive Producer

Carla Gardini

Jonathan King

Linus Sandgren


Andrew Mondshein

Film Editing

David Gropman

Production Design

A.R. Rahman

Original Music

Pierre-Yves Gayraud

Costume Design

Karen Schulz Gropman

Supervising Art Direction

Alain Guffroy

Art Director

Sabine Delouvrier

Set Decoration

News & Interviews for The Hundred-Foot Journey

Parental Guidance: Still Alice , Plus Dawn of the Planet of the Apes on DVD

New on DVD & Blu-Ray: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes , The Hundred-Foot Journey , and More

Video: Dame Helen Mirren Wants You to Get Some

Critic Reviews for The Hundred-Foot Journey

Audience reviews for the hundred-foot journey.

It's apparently become a running joke now that I end up writing reviews later and later, as it's now 9:24 pm Of course, I also haven't had dinner yet, so it rules to be me, I guess. Anyway, I think it should be known, for the record, that I am an awful cook. Or at least I think I am, since I'm the only one who has eaten my cooking thus far. Sometimes there are moments when I look at a particularly skilled chef working their magic and I think to myself that I wish I could do that. I suppose you might say that I could take classes but, realistically speaking, one is born with that. Might sound like a cliched thing to say, but I feel that it's true in this case. Also, and this might sound ignorant, but I find food criticism to be a bit snobbish. I'm not saying that food critics' opinions are invalid, but it's just a profession that I do not understand. Obviously, there's a stereotype associated with a food critic that might not always reflect the reality, but, as a whole, I don't know what the point is of reviewing food. I suppose you could make the argument that it serves to promote great meals and restaurants, but what's great to one person might be shit to me. The difference between food criticism and, say, film criticism is that, at the very least, you can come to learn to trust someone's opinion on a movie. Maybe your tastes align or whatever, so you can seek them out knowing that the reviewers' thoughts might match your own. You don't necessarily have that in food criticism because, again, it involves literal taste. It's so much easier to enjoy a movie that a critic you followed enjoy than it is to enjoy a meal that a food critic you follow loves. I don't know how to explain this, but it makes perfect sense in my mind. So fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that, in part, this film deals with Madam Mallory's restaurant's search for their second Michelin Star. This Michelin Star thing is a bit of a guide book that tells you which restaurants you should visit based on their star rating. There are three stars, one is very good, two is phenomenal and three, well, you are basically one of the greats. Mallory has been eagerly anticipating their second star year after year for 30 years at the time of the film's events. This is where Hassan, his father and the rest of his family come in. They open a restaurant across the street from Mallory's restaurant, hence the title, after leaving India (losing everything they had in a fire, including the matriarch) to start anew in Europe. Their car breaks down in this village and Hassan's father comes across the property that is being sold. Of course, he buys it and they start their own restaurant. A lot of the movie is the obvious culture clash, where the stuffier and uptight Mallory has to deal with the more lively, (sometimes) louder and spicier Indians living 100-feet from her. Naturally, they also feud. Mallory takes a look at her competition's menu and proceeds to buy all the ingredients at the local market just to fuck with them. It's all the typical stuff you would expect. Hassan falls for Marguerite, who works for Mallory's restaurant as a sous chef, I think. Of course, though, not everything is so pleasant. Hassan's arrival with his family ruffles some feathers among the racists in Mallory's kitchen, who proceed (with a group of friends of his) to torch Hassan's family's restaurant. Here's the thing, I get why they did it, but it felt so forced and heavy-handed. For how pleasant the rest of the movie is, this racism shit just didn't really fit in with the rest of the movie. I suppose it was necessary in that this is what brings Mallory close to Hassan and his family. It's what ends their rivalry and allows Mallory to see Hassan as a potential chef for her restaurant instead of her competition. But, to be completely honest, this could have been done in an entirely different way. Racism is still alive and well (and this was a movie released in 2014), but I do not like the way how the movie handled it here. Again, it just doesn't fit thematically with the rest of the movie. Mallory, eventually, hires Hassan to work for her at her restaurant, which puts him at odds with Marguerite since, essentially, they're both 'fighting' for the same position as top chef. Eventually, though, Hassan's excellent cooking gets Mallory's restaurant the second star she's waited for for three decades. This, apparently, is a really big deal as Hassan becomes an overnight sensation. He's getting offers from major restaurants and he proceeds to take one of them. Of course, working in a major restaurant lacks the passion and the love for him that cooking for a 'smaller' place brought to him. Here's the thing, and I don't know if this is an actual thing, but I find this idea of Hassan becoming a celebrity because of his Michelin stars to be a little exaggerated. I mean, I'm certain that there's some fame associated with that, but it's also fame that's known to a very niche group of people. I don't think most people would really care one way or the other honestly. So this idea that Hassan is now a major celebrity because of this was difficult for me to buy. Name me a famous chef that's not Wolfgang Puck and Emeril. Go on, I'll wait. That's not to diminish the work of chefs who have managed to earn these stars, but I don't think one becomes a major celebrity ala, I don't know, Sandra Bullock because of that. Maybe it's just me. But, of course, all of this is set-up so Hassan eventually gets tired of working in a restaurant that has drained his passion and creativity to return to a smaller place where he can feel passionate about what he loves once more. It's basic, simple stuff. I'll be honest, though, I definitely enjoyed this movie. I wasn't a fan of the racist stuff, not because it shouldn't have been done, but just how it felt in contrast to everything else. Hassan's fame was also difficult for me to buy, but this was still an enjoyable enough movie. Helen Mirren is great, as always. And the rest of the cast is really solid all around. The storytelling is definitely predictable, but, again, I think the movie's tone and pacing definitely helped out a lot. The characters are likable and you want to see them do well or well enough given their circumstances. It's not a perfect movie, by any means, but I connected with its message about the importance of family, particularly with what's been going on personally. Again, to me, this is an enjoyable movie. Wouldn't give this a glowing recommendation, but if you come across this on cable TV then it's worth a watch.

helen mirren hundred foot journey

I enjoyed this film about a competition between an expensive French restaurant and a bargain-brand Indian restaurant - 100 feet from each other.

Got to admit, got roped into this one. Wasn't one I would have chosen to watch. It is a good movie. The story about the Indian family moving to France and starting up a restaurant is good. Helen Mirren plays a horrible woman who works in a competing restaurant... But she comes nice by the end. There's also a bit of romance thrown in and some beautiful shots of the country, and of course, food. It did feel like an older persons movie, however. (And now I technically am an older person, it even seems too much that way for me). It's a nice movie, is what I mean. There is nothing in there that would offend or displease anyone, and thinking is optional too, although it does have its dramatic moments and a bit of tragedy too.

Not too spicy. Not too bland. Somewhat charming, but nothing special.

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helen mirren hundred foot journey

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“The Hundred-Foot Journey” is a film that demands that you take it seriously. With its feel-good themes of multicultural understanding, it is about Something Important. It even comes with the stamp of approval from titanic tastemakers Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg , who both serve as producers. What more convincing could you possibly need?

There’s something familiar about the treacly and sanctimonious way this film is being packaged. It reeks of late-‘90s/early ‘00s Miramax fare: films with tasteful yet ubiquitous ad campaigns and unabashed Oscar aspirations which suggested that seeing them (and, more importantly, voting for them) would make you a better person. Films like “The Cider House Rules,” “Chocolat” and “The Shipping News.” Films by Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom.

Hallstrom just happens to be the director here, as well, and the similarities to “Chocolat” are inescapable. Stop me if think you’ve heard this one before: A family moves into a quaint but closed-minded French village and shakes things up with an enticing array of culinary delicacies. This new enterprise happens to sit across the street from a conservative and revered building that’s a town treasure. But the food in question isn’t a bon bon this time—rather, the movie is the bon bon itself.

But despite being handsomely crafted, well acted and even sufficiently enjoyable, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is also conventional and predictable. And for a film that’s all about opening up your senses and sampling spicy, exotic tastes, this comic drama is entirely too safe and even a little bland.

What livens things up, though, is the interplay between Helen Mirren and Om Puri as battling restaurant owners operating across the street from each other—100 feet away from each other, to be exact, a short but fraught trip that various characters take for various reasons. Watching these veteran actors stoop to sabotage each other provides a consistent source of laughs. She’s all sharp angles, piercing looks and biting quips; he’s all round joviality, boisterous blasts and warmhearted optimism. The contrast between the British Oscar-winner and the Indian acting legend offers the only tension in this otherwise soft and gooey dish—that is, until the film goes all soft and gooey, too.

Mirren stars as Madame Mallory, owner of Le Saule Pleurer (The Weeping Willow), an elegant and expensive French restaurant that’s the winner of a prestigious Michelin star. But one star isn’t enough for the coldly driven Mme. Mallory—she wants another, and then another.

But her bloodless quest for gourmet grandeur is interrupted by the arrival across the street of an Indian family: the Kadams, who’ve been wandering around Europe ever since their beloved restaurant back home burned down during political rioting. When the brakes on their car malfunction on a treacherous stretch of spectacular countryside, Papa (Puri) insists it’s a sign from his late wife and decides to open a new eatery in the charming town at the bottom of the hill.

Never mind that one of the most celebrated restaurants in all of France is sitting right across the street from the empty building he rents. Never mind that they are in an insular part of the country where the residents probably don’t even know what Indian cuisine is, much less like it, as his children point out. He has faith in his food—and in his son, Hassan ( Manish Dayal ), a brilliant, young chef.

Just as Papa and Mme. Mallory strike up a sparky rivalry, Hassan enjoys a flirtatious relationship with French sous chef Marguerite ( Charlotte Le Bon , who played an early model and muse in the recent “Yves Saint Laurent” biopic). The script from Steven Wright (who also wrote the far trickier “ Locke ” from earlier this year, as well as “ Dirty Pretty Things ” and “ Eastern Promises ”) is full of such tidy parallels, as well as trite and overly simplistic proclamations about how food inspires memories. Dayal and Le Bon do look lovely together, though, and share a light, enjoyable chemistry.

Then again, it all looks lovely—both the French and Indian dishes as well as the lush, rolling surroundings, which we see through all four seasons; the work of cinematographer Linus Sandgren , who recently shot “American Hustle.” This sweetly pleasing combination of ingredients would have been perfectly suitable if the film didn’t take a wild and needless detour in the third act. That’s when it becomes an even less interesting movie than it already was, in spite of its loftier aspirations.

Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire is a longtime film critic who has written for RogerEbert.com since 2013. Before that, she was the film critic for The Associated Press for nearly 15 years and co-hosted the public television series "Ebert Presents At the Movies" opposite Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, with Roger Ebert serving as managing editor. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here .

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The Hundred-Foot Journey movie poster

The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

122 minutes

Helen Mirren as Madam Mallory

Om Puri as Papa

Manish Dayal as Hassan Haji

Charlotte Le Bon as Marguerite

Amit Shah as Mansur

  • Lasse Hallström
  • Steven Knight
  • Richard C. Morais

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The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey

  • The Kadam family leaves India for France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory's Michelin-starred eatery.
  • The family of talented cook, Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), has a life filled with both culinary delights and profound loss. Drifting through Europe after fleeing political violence in India that killed the family restaurant business and their mother, the Kadams arrive in France. Once there, a chance auto accident and the kindness of a young woman, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), in the village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val inspires Papa Kadam (Om Puri) to set up a Indian restaurant there. Unfortunately, this puts the Kadams in direct competition with the snobbish Madame Mallory's acclaimed haute cuisine establishment across the street where Marguerite also works as a sous-chef. The resulting rivalry eventually escalates in personal intensity until it goes too far. In response, there is a bridging of sides initiated by Hassan, Marguerite, and Madame Mallory (Dame Helen Mirren), both professional and personal, that encourages an understanding that will change both sides forever. — Kenneth Chisholm ([email protected])
  • The Kadam family after leaving India due to a fatal tragedy finally settle in a small town in southern France. They set up a traditional family run Indian restaurant just like they had always planned but opposite a competitive French restaurant. This initial rivalry creates unexpected twists for the better and for the worse in the lives of both the Kadam family and Madame Mallory (Dame Helen Mirren), the owner of the Michelin star restaurant a hundred feet away. — Viir khubchandani
  • Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), the oldest of five siblings, was taught how to cook, but more importantly truly taste and love food, by his mother. Their entire family works together in their open air eatery in Mumbai. In his role, Hassan considers himself a cook and not a chef as he was never professionally trained. Following the tragic death of Hassan's mother, his well-off but frugal Papa Kadam (Om Puri) decides to pack up the family and move to Europe to open a restaurant, the business to keep to his wife's memory in their love of South Asian cuisine. After an initial business misstep in London, Papa believes it is fate that their van breaks down just outside of the French town of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, that they meet a local foodie, a young woman named Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), who introduces them to the abundance of fresh locally sourced produce, seafood and meats, and that there is an abandoned restaurant property on the outskirts of town for sale. Against the wishes of the family, Papa decides to purchase the property for their business, even after learning that the previous owners could not make a go of it because it is a mere one hundred feet from Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin-starred restaurant where Marguerite works as a sous-chef, she trying to work her way up to chef-de-cuisine. Papa's resolve is strengthened as he believes their style of food is not only different than the French, but better in their bold flavors, something he wants to show the locals. Madame Mallory (Dame Helen Mirren), Le Saule Pleureur's proprietress, took over its running following the death of her husband. The restaurant is now her entire life, and she has waited close to thirty years for it to receive its second Michelin-star, so far without success. Madame Mallory does not take too kindly to her new neighbors, not only as potential competition, but in the Kadams', most specifically Papa's, brash and forward approach to life, unlike the refined French. An initial action by Madame Mallory to make sure Maison Mumbai, the Kadams' restaurant, doesn't succeed, leads to an all out war between her and Papa. But a potential bridge emerges between the two restaurants with the budding friendship and possible romance between Hassan and Marguerite. Beyond that friendship and romance, Hassan believes, to survive, they have to meld their bold flavors to local ingredients and techniques, he who wants to learn the art of French cooking from Marguerite. A singular action in that war results in what could be a fundamental shift between all the players at Le Saule Pleureur and Maison Mumbai. — Huggo
  • Put young Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) in a kitchen, and he's bound to emerge with a dish that will dazzle. When Hassan's family is forced to move from their native India, his Papa (Om Puri) relocates to a peaceful hamlet in Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Determined to give his new neighbors a little taste of home, Papa decides to open an Indian restaurant in the village, and names it "Maison Mumbai". Meanwhile, across the street at the traditional French restaurant Le Saule Pleureu, uptight proprietor Madame Mallory (Dame Helen Mirren) doesn't exactly welcome the competition. When Madame Mallory ignites a bitter feud that quickly escalates, the only hope for a peaceful resolution lies in Hassan's talent for French haute cuisine, and his growing affections for Madame Mallory's pretty young sous chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon). Subsequently impressed by Hassan's undeniable culinary talents, Madame Mallory agrees to become Hassan's mentor, in the process providing the perfect creative environment where his unique fusion cuisine can thrive.
  • In the opening scene, at a customs office, Hassan Kadam ( Manish Dayal ) explains to French Immigration why he and his family want to live in France: his family had owned a restaurant in Mumbai, but on an election night, there was a riot and their restaurant was set on fire, killing his mother who was the chef. He learned everything about cooking from her and has been trying to teach himself as his Papa moves the family about Europe. He fondly remembers buying sea urchins, the seller exclaiming that he gets cooking. Admitting he doesn't have any proof that he knows how to cook, except to offer a homemade samosa and saying that English produce isnt good enough, the Kadam family is allowed in. Papa ( Om Puri ) is driving the family throughout the French countryside, trying out random vegetable gardens, when their old van finally gives out in the hills above Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, a small village. A young woman passes by, offering to take them to the local mechanic. The family (also brothers Mansur and Mukthar and sisters Mahira and Aisha) push the van into town. Marguerite ( Charlotte Le Bon ), the woman, brings them to her apartment and offers a snack- a huge platter of radishes, butter and salt; home baked bread; large, fresh tomatoes; olives she picked and cured herself and little pastries. Delighted, Papa eagerly looks forward to bargaining with the hotel in town, much to Mansurs dismay. In the morning, Papa discovers an abandoned restaurant. As he and Hassan are exploring, Madame Mallory ( Helen Mirren ) announces they are trespassing. She admits she is not the owner either, but keeping an eye on the property for the owner who is in Paris. Again, Papa wants to bargain with the owner and soon we see the family cleaning up the restaurant to turn it into Maison Mumbai. The family finds out the reason why Madame is so hostile- she owns the restaurant just across the street: Le Saule Pleureur, a one star Michelin restaurant. Hassan finds mildewed French cookbooks in the kitchen as they prepare for the opening and strikes up a friendship with Marguerite, who he discovers is the sous chef at Madame's. Madame runs a tight ship, scolding employees for serving limp asparagus, saying food should be passionate. She visits her competition, demanding they turn down their Indian music and studies a menu which she takes with her. On opening day, Papa and Hassan travel to market only to discover Madame has snatched up all the crawfish, mushrooms and everything else in town on their opening night menu. Scrambling to save the day, the family forages the river and forest for the needed ingredients and manages to snag customers with native costumes, Mahira's smile and forceful behavior. Madame appeals to the mayor to close Maison Mumbai for various citations, but he appreciates the food too much. Papa turns the tables on Madame and purchases all the ingredients in town for pigeon truffle, one of the restaurant's renowned dishes. Marguerite tells Hassan that Madame doesn't interview job applicants, but asks them to prepare an omelet, knowing from one bite whether or not they have it. Hassan cooks a dish of pigeon with truffle sauce, (the recipe stolen with a bribe from Papa from one of the cooks), which he presents to Madame, and she then dumps in the trash. This is now war (cue the angry chopping). Madame tells her head chef, Jean-Pierre that he is a soldier, which he takes too seriously and has friends torch Maison Mumbai. Horrified, she personally scrubs their wall free of graffiti, fires Jean-Pierre and accepts when Hassan asks to make her an omelet, although he has to direct her since he severely burned his hands in the attack. His omelet includes Indian spices, onions, cilantro and spicy peppers. She raves after one bite and humbly admits that chefs must study for years for what he instinctively knows and admits that his pigeon was wonderful too. After a brief haggle with Papa over salary, Hassan moves across the street (one hundred feet), leaving behind his disappointed younger sister and hesitant older brother (who now has to cook) to polish off his cooking skills with Madame and Marguerite. At the end of one year, Hassan and Le Saule Pleureur have received the much coveted second Michelin star and Marguerite's controlled anger for she has been working for years to be head chef and also because Hassan will now be courted by many Parisian restaurants. The widowed Madame has clearly warmed to the Kadam family, calling Mahira a beauty, cooing to the younger children and feeding Papa a truffle. Another year later and Hassan is burnt out. He is much applauded, but he has taken up drinking (wine is considered strange in Indian culture). One night before Michelin stars are announced, he scolds a sous chef for ruining a sea urchin dish and finds a fellow Indian co-worker enjoying food sent from home. Soon he is taking a train back to Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val, where he tells Marguerite that he has a business proposition for her. Secretly cooking sea urchin for Bastille Day, they consummate their relationship before Madame (who is now Papa's "almost" girlfriend) introduces them as the new partners of her restaurant to her guests and the Kadam family, who didn't even know that Hassan was back in town. When Hassan's phone rings, Papa sees that the call was from Michelin and implores him to call them back, but Hassan insists that he and Marguerite will get a third star next year at Le Saule Pleureur.

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The Hundred-Foot Journey, film review: Fiery performances from Helen Mirren and Om Puri in culinary culture-clash comedy

(pg) lasse hallström, 122 mins starring: helen mirren, om puri, charlotte le bon, manish dayal, article bookmarked.

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French fancy: Helen Mirren in The Hundred-Foot Journey

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The Hundred-Foot Journey is a culinary culture-clash comedy enlivened by fiery performances from Helen Mirren and Om Puri but which, like so many other Lasse Hallström films, slowly turns to gloop the longer it lasts.

Puri is as funny here as he was in East Is East and My Son the Fanatic. He plays the patriarch of an Indian family which has moved to Europe after their restaurant in Mumbai is destroyed in a riot. His wife has died in the fire. The family first set up home in West London but quickly decide that the "vegetables have no soul".

When their rickety old van breaks down in an idyllic village in the south of France, Papa (Puri) decides this is a sign that the family should open an Indian restaurant there. The hitch is that their premises are bang opposite the Michelin-starred restaurant run by the imperious Madame Mallory (Mirren).

It is a pleasure to watch two such accomplished scene-stealers as Mirren and Puri vying with each other on screen. After a while, we even get used to Mirren's 'Allo 'Allo-style French accent.

Papa's son Hassan (Manish Dayal) is a genius in the kitchen who eventually masters French cuisine and falls in love with the beautiful French chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon).

Hallström shoots the movie in his usual picture-postcard fashion, throwing in shots of gorgeous French landscapes and plenty of fetishistic close- ups of the food. The charm of the early scenes is undermined by the mushiness and predictability with which the rest of the film unfolds.

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Film Review: ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’

Lasse Hallstrom returns to 'Chocolat' territory with this overlong serving of cinematic comfort food.

By Justin Chang

Justin Chang

  • Film Review: ‘A Hologram for the King’ 8 years ago
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"The Hundred-Foot Journey"

Beef bourguignon or tandoori goat? Career success or family loyalty? You can actually have it all, according to “ The Hundred-Foot Journey ,” a culture-clash dramedy that presents itself as the most soothing brand of cinematic comfort food. As such, this genteel, overlong adaptation of Richard C. Morais’ 2010 novel about two rival restaurants operating in a sleepy French village is not without its pleasures — a high-energy score by A.R. Rahman, exquisite gastro-porn shot by Linus Sandgren, the winningly barbed chemistry of Helen Mirren and Om Puri — all prepared to exacting middlebrow specifications and ensured to go down as tastily and tastefully as possible. With the formidable backing of Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey (who produced with Juliet Blake), the DreamWorks concoction should cater to a broad array of arthouse appetites, particularly among those viewers who embraced the similar East-meets-West fusion cuisine of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

If this Old World foodie fairy tale feels like an odd fit for screenwriter Steven Knight — best known for his gritty London underworld thrillers, and coming off an unusually adventurous directing debut with “Locke” — it’s worth recalling that his scripts for the much edgier “Eastern Promises” and “Dirty Pretty Things” were directly concerned with the hostilities bred in and around specific immigrant communities. Still, with its cozy, crowd-pleasing temperament, the new film represents all-too-familiar territory for director Lasse Hallstrom, whose superficially similar “Chocolat” offered up a smug little parable about the triumph of sensual indulgence and liberal tolerance over stifling small-town conformity. The culture war examined in “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is a bit less one-sided: It contrasts the heat and intensity of Indian cooking with the elegance and refinement of French haute cuisine, then balances the two with a feel-good lesson in ethnic harmony.

Fleeing a tragic uprising in their native Mumbai for a more idyllic life in Europe, the Kadam family, led by their proudly outspoken Papa (Puri), decide to open an Indian restaurant in the South of France. Alas, they soon find that they have merely abandoned one war zone for another, as their scrappy new Maison Mumbai, with its open-air seating and free-wandering chickens, is soon locked in a fierce competition with the classy Michelin-starred establishment located just 100 feet across the road. That restaurant, Le Saule Pleureur, is run by the widowed Madame Mallory (Mirren), an unyielding perfectionist and proud defender of Gallic tradition whose first glimpse of her brown-skinned neighbors prompts her to sniff, “Who are zees people?”

Zees people, little does she realize, include one of the most talented young cooks in Europe. That would be our protagonist, Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), who soon begins a sly flirtation with Le Saule Pleureur’s beautiful sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon); she in turn introduces him to the venerable tradition of French cooking, which he becomes determined to master. The tension between these two characters, sexual as well as professional, is something the film keeps on a low simmer behind the more fiery confrontations between Papa and Madame Mallory, neither of whom is afraid to resort to all manner of competitive sabotage — whether it means sneakily buying up all the crayfish at the farmers market, or filing complaints with the mayor (Michel Blanc), humorously depicted as something of a gourmand himself.

Amid all this fun but childish oneupsmanship, Knight and Hallstrom gently milk all the expected stereotypes for humor and conflict: The French are snobs with their hoity-toity manners and expensive food, and they’re deeply affronted by the thrifty, tacky Indians with their colorful clothes and loud music. France’s ugly history of racial aggression and unrest, particularly relevant at the present moment, briefly punctures the film’s placid surface when local thugs attack and nearly burn down Maison Mumbai. But rather than lighting a fuse, this trauma is what begins to unite the Kadams and Madame Mallory, who soon realizes that Hassan is not only an exceptional cook, especially when armed with his family’s prized spice box, but possibly the missing ingredient that could earn Le Saule Pleureur its second Michelin star.

And so “The Hundred-Foot Journey” becomes a story in which cultural opposites not only learn to coexist, but are in fact triumphantly and even romantically reconciled. It may be set in France, but really, it could be taking place in any movie-manufactured fantasyland where enemies become the best of friends, and an embittered old shrew turns out to have a heart of gold (and, as Papa appreciatively notes, looks rather fetching beneath the glow of computer-generated Bastille Day fireworks). Morais’ novel was described by the New York Times’ Ligaya Mishan as a hybrid of “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Ratatouille,” and Hallstrom seems to have taken that Hollywood formulation to heart: Like “Slumdog,” the film is an underdog story set to the infectious backbeat of Rahman’s music (fun fact: Knight created the original British version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”), and like “Ratatouille,” it brings us into an irresistible world of culinary sophistication and features gorgeous nighttime views of Paris, where Hassan eventually arrives in search of his destiny.

Where the film really overreaches is its attempt to reproduce “Ratatouille’s” glorious Proustian moment, that perfect bite of food that induces a heartbreaking recollection of childhood. This wannabe epiphany arrives deep into a draggy third act, during which the script and the handsome Dayal struggle to give Hassan some semblance of a conflicted inner life, but the character, much like his meteoric rise to the top ranks of international chefdom, remains something of a sketch. It’s the older, top-billed leads who manage the heavy lifting: Though she’s encumbered somewhat by her French accent, Mirren is superb at both projecting an air of hauteur and expressing the vulnerability beneath it, and she brings out a similar mix of pride and feeling in Puri’s Papa, an excellent sparring partner whose stubbornness and drive to succeed never come at the expense of his love for his family.

Shot on 35mm in luminous, sun-dappled tones in the French village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val (with some second-unit work in India), and handsomely appointed by production designer David Gropman and costume designer Pierre-Yves Gayraud, the film is also distinguished by its mouth-watering visual buffet, whether lingering on vats of steaming red curry or a perfectly plated pigeon with truffles. This is, no question, an easy picture to succumb to — perhaps too easy, if its tidy narrative symmetries and its belief in the socially redemptive power of pleasure are any indication. Scrumptious as it all is, it hurts to watch chefs so committed to excellence in a movie so content to settle for attractive mediocrity.

Reviewed at Disney Studios, Burbank, Calif., July 23, 2014. (In Locarno Film Festival — Piazza Grande.) MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 122 MIN.

  • Production: A Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures release of a DreamWorks Pictures and Reliance Entertainment presentation in association with Participant Media and Image Nation of an Amblin Entertainment/Harpo Films production. Produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Juliet Blake. Executive producers, Caroline Hewitt, Carla Gardini, Jeff Skoll, Jonathan King. Co-producers, Holly Bario, Raphael Benoliel.
  • Crew: Directed by Lasse Hallstrom. Screenplay, Steven Knight, based on the novel by Richard C. Morais. Camera (color, widescreen, 35mm), Linus Sandgren; editor, Andrew Mondshein; music, A.R. Rahman; music supervisor, E. Gedney Webb; production designer, David Gropman; supervising art directors, Karen Schulz Gropman, Alain Guffroy; set decorator, Sabine Delouvrier; costume designer, Pierre-Yves Gayraud; sound (Datasat/Dolby Digital), Jean-Marie Blondel; supervising sound editor, Michael Kirchberger; sound designers, Dave Paterson, Kirchberger; re-recording mixers, Michael Barry, Paterson; special effects supervisor, Philippe Hubin; special effects coordinator, Jean-Christophe Magnaud; visual effects supervisor, Brendan Taylor; visual effects producer, Mitchell Ferm; visual effects, Mavericks VFX, Mr. X, Lola VFX; stunt coordinator, Dominique Fouassier; assistant director, Mishka Cheyko; second unit camera, Hugues Espinasse; casting, Lucy Bevan.
  • With: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Amit Shah, Farzana Dua Elahe, Dillon Mitra, Aria Pandya, Michel Blanc. (English, French, Hindi dialogue)

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Helen Mirren on The Hundred-Foot Journey: 'The American public will not accept subtitles' – video

Michael Hann and Richard Sprenger , theguardian.com

Fri 5 Sep 2014 06.30 BST First published on Fri 5 Sep 2014 06.30 BST

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Production Begins on THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY Starring Helen Mirren

The Hundred-Foot Journey Filming Begins. Production is underway on The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren and produced by Oprah Winfrey.

DreamWorks announced today that filming is now underway in southwest France on director Lasse Hallström ’s ( Chocolat ) adaptation of the Richard C. Morais novel The Hundred-Foot Journey .  The film centers on the rivalry between an Indian restaurant that is 100 feet away from a three-Michelin-star restaurant in France, with the eccentric French chef reluctantly forming a bond with the young Indian boy whose family owns the quaint Indian restaurant.  Helen Mirren is set to play the aforementioned chef, while Manish Dayal ( 90210 ) will play the Indian boy.

Steven Knight ( Eastern Promises ) wrote the script, and the film is being produced by Steven Spielberg , Oprah Winfrey , and Juliet Blake .  The cast also includes Charlotte Le Bon and Om Puri , and the film is slated for release on August 8, 2014.  Hit the jump to read the full press release, which includes the official synopsis.

Here’s the full press release with the synopsis in bold :

BURBANK, Calif. (October 9, 2013)  – Production has begun in southwest France on “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” based on the best-selling novel by Richard C. Morais. Starring Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren, and directed by Oscar® nominee Lasse Hallström, the film will be released on August 8, 2014 in the U.S. In “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant – the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own escalate to all out war between the two establishments – until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory's culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan's gift as a chef and takes him under her wing. “The Hundred-Foot Journey” abounds with flavors that burst across the tongue. A stimulating triumph over exile, blossoming with passion and heart, with marjoram and madras, it is a portrayal of two worlds colliding and one boy’s drive to find the comfort of home, in every pot, wherever he may be. “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is directed by acclaimed Academy Award ®   and Golden Globe ®   nominee Lasse Hallström from a script by Steven Knight and is based on the international best-selling novel of the same name by Richard C. Morais. The movie’s producers are Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake. The film’s executive producers are Caroline Hewitt and Carla Gardini.  Raphael Benoliel is co-producer. The filmmakers of “The Hundred-Foot Journey” also include production designer David Gropman (“August: Osage County,” “Life Of Pi”), costume designer Pierre-Yves Gayraud (“Cloud Atlas,” “Albert Nobbs”) director of photography Linus Sandgren (“American Hustle,” “Promised Land”) and editor Andrew Mondshein (“Safe Haven,” “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”). DreamWorks Studios is producing, with Participant Media co-financing. Mister Smith Entertainment is handling foreign sales to Europe, Africa and the Middle East, DreamWorks’ partner Reliance will distribute in India, with Disney handling the remaining international territories. Disney will distribute the film theatrically in the U.S.

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Helen mirren reflects on this ‘exciting’ time for female-led films in hollywood.

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Helen Mirren at the 37th Annual American Cinematheque Awards Honoring Helen Mirren held at The ... [+] Beverly Hilton on February 15, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. An evening that was sponsored by Fleur de Miraval. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images)

Over the span of her illustrious career, Dame Helen Mirren has won an Oscar, a Tony, three Golden Globes, four BAFTAs, four Emmys and five Screen Actors Guild awards, including this year for work narrating Barbie (2023). On Thursday night, Mirren, 78, was recognized at the 37th Annual American Cinematheque Awards for her lifetime achievements within the filmmaking industry.

Beginning her career as a stage actress, Mirren had her first big break in 1965, playing Cleopatra with the National Youth Theatre in Antony and Cleopatra . From there, Mirren’s most memorable early films include O Lucky Man! (1973), The Long Good Friday (1980), The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) and The Madness of King George (1994).

In 2007, Mirren won the Academy Award for her outstanding performance in The Queen (2006), playing the late Queen Elizabeth II. Most recently, Mirren can be seen playing Israel’s former prime minister Golda Meir in the 2023 film Golda , as well as continuing to star alongside Harrison Ford in 1923 (2022-), part of Taylor Sheridan’s ever-expanding Yellowstone television universe.

When it came time for Mirren to be recognized as only the ninth woman to receive the American Cinematheque Award, she told me, “I feel very nervous. Weirdly, I don’t like being the center of attention. I think that’s why I’m an actress - it’s because I can hide, in a way. Here, I can’t hide - it’s me, but I know that I’m surrounded by friends - people who’ve come to support me, and that’s an amazing thing.”

Harrison Ford presents honoree Helen Mirren with the American Cinematheque Award onstage during the ... [+] 37th Annual American Cinematheque Awards at The Beverly Hilton on February 15, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for American Cinematheque)

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Established in 1984, the American Cinematheque is a member-supported 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural arts organization with a dedicated mission in building an engaged film community through immersive film curation, conversation and presentation.

When introducing Mirren with her American Cinematheque Award, Ford said of his longtime scene partner and friend, “You are the kindest, funniest, wackiest broad, and I thank you for it.” Other actors who took the stage to honor Mirren were Bryan Cranston, Patrick Stewart, Pierce Brosnan, Andrea Risenborough, Alan Cumming, Vin Diesel and Mirren’s filmmaker husband Taylor Hackford, each of them sharing fond memories of their experiences alongside the evening’s honoree.

Taylor Hackford and Helen Mirren at the 37th Annual American Cinematheque Awards Honoring Helen ... [+] Mirren held at The Beverly Hilton on February 15, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty Images)

Hackford, who met Mirren while filming the 1985 film White Nights and married her in 1997, revealed what he believes makes his wife unique in Hollywood today. “I think her subtlety. Some people want to show you that they can be larger-than-life. Helen is never larger-than-life. If she is larger-than-life, it’s because through her eyes and her incredible strength, she makes you believe the character she’s playing. To me, she’s the best actress alive today - and I’m obviously prejudice but I’ve seen, probably more than anybody else, she can make any role human.”

With Mirren’s recent work in Barbie , alongside co-writer/director Greta Gerwig and actress/producer Margot Robbie, the Warner Bros. film received eight Academy Award nominations this year and has grossed approximately $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office. I wondered what these types of female-led projects, both in front of the camera and behind the camera, like Past Lives (2023) and Anatomy of a Fall (2023), ultimately mean to Mirren, with all of the momentum happening in Hollywood right now.

Honoree Helen Mirren, recipient of the American Cinematheque Award, speaks onstage during the 37th ... [+] Annual American Cinematheque Awards at The Beverly Hilton on February 15, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for American Cinematheque)

Mirren said, “It means a huge amount. I think it’s so exciting and role models are so important for young people. You have to see people like you - your race, your gender - on the screen or behind the camera, to realize that you can do it. So, having a film like Barbie be the success that it has been teaches studios that yes, women can make incredibly successful films and young girls who are six, seven, eight [years old] - playing with their Barbies thinking, Oh, maybe I’ll be a film director . So, it’s great.”

With Mirren continuing on as a working actor today, how would she say that her priorities in the stories she is telling have evolved most throughout her elaborate career?

“I don’t know if there has been a huge evolution,” Mirren said. “I mean, I started off as a classic theatre actress and that was all that I wanted to be. I didn’t want to be a film actress, but that sort of came my way and it has been an incredible journey. I feel I’m in a constant state of learning and I just want to do as much varied things as possible, which is what I’ve done.”

Jeff Conway

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Helen Mirren Fooled the Crowd with an A.I.-Generated Speech (and Ripped It Up) at the American Cinematheque Awards

Christian zilko.

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When Dame Helen Mirren took the stage at the Beverly Hilton to accept the 37th annual American Cinematheque Award on Thursday night, she began by reciting an elegant, if cliched, declaration of gratitude for her lifetime spent working in Hollywood.

It was the kind of predictable lifetime achievement speech fare that award circuit veterans have heard far too many times, so anyone could be forgiven for thinking it was genuine. But as soon as she reached the end, Mirren gleefully ripped up her papers as she announced “That was written by AI!” Related Stories Killer Films, Ava DuVernay, Andrew Haigh, and More Set to Be Honored at Kodak Film Awards 2024 Oscars: Best Animated Feature Predictions

In context, the gag came across as more of a lighthearted joke than an act of rebellion against changing industry norms. But it played perfectly at a gala supporting the preservation of arthouse cinema and analogue projection formats, reminding everyone how Mirren became beloved enough to merit the award in the first place.

Though after an evening of star-studded tributes to Mirren, the reminder was not needed. Many of Hollywood’s biggest names descended upon the Beverly Hilton to honor Mirren’s extensive filmography. (The American Cinematheque Award was arguably the second most prestigious honor that Mirren received that night, beaten out by The Rock’s declaration via video message that she’s the kind of person with whom he’d like to share a glass of his Teremana tequila.)

Legendary market researcher and focus group guru Kevin Goetz was also honored with the organization’s Power of Cinema Award, and was feted with a video montage featuring congratulatory messages from the likes of Tom Cruise, Margot Robbie, Judd Apatow, and Charlize Theron.

Bryan Cranston kicked things off by working blue, making sexually charged puns about playing “a delicious asshole” alongside Mirren and drawing groans for his quip that the Dame played “AARP Barbie” in the Greta Gerwig blockbuster she narrated. Sir Patrick Stewart recalled his early years performing with Mirren at the Royal Shakespeare Company, with the actor joking that he was “aroused in every way” by Mirren’s stage presence. Pierce Brosnan took the stage to express his lifelong admiration for Mirren, though he admitted that they have yet to work together or get to know each other beyond a superficial level. And Alan Cumming introduced a video tribute to Mirren’s history of going topless in movies, citing her confidence with her aging body as a source of inspiration to both women and men around the world.

The speeches gradually became more serious, as Mirren’s longtime husband, filmmaker Taylor Hackford, praised her for being a wonderful stepmother to his two sons. Andrea Riseborough thanked Mirren for her mentorship — and willingness to allow Riseborough to photograph her ankles during their first meeting. And Vin Diesel ignored the teleprompter, opting to deliver a sincere tribute to the friendship he formed with Mirren while filming “Fast and Furious” movies in Italy. He recalled that Mirren took him out to dinner when he was away from his family on his birthday, and that the two stars bonded further by singing Elvis songs to each other and dancing in the rain together.

The lengthy tributes, which began with dirty jokes but crescendoed to a brief but emotional tribute from Mirren’s “1923” co-star Harrison Ford , clearly moved the Oscar winner as the night wore on.

“I hope you all get to experience this someday,” Mirren said at the start of her speech. “Because it’s fucking amazing.” And real.

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  1. The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

    99+ Photos Comedy Drama The Kadam family leaves India for France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory's Michelin-starred eatery. Director Lasse Hallström Writers Steven Knight Richard C. Morais Stars Helen Mirren Om Puri Manish Dayal See production info at IMDbPro RENT/BUY from $3.99 search Amazon

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    Plot The Muslim Konkani Kadam family runs a restaurant in Mumbai. As a child, the second-oldest son, Hassan, would shop with his mother at the market, where he was adept at picking the highest-quality food. Now a young man, he is in training to replace her as the restaurant's main cook.

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    Madame Mallory (Dame Helen Mirren), Le Saule Pleureur's proprietress, took over its running following the death of her husband. The restaurant is now her entire life, and she has waited close to thirty years for it to receive its second Michelin-star, so far without success.

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