Haute Cuisine: A Movie Review

The other night I had an urge to watch a good movie.   I’ll premise this by saying that a few years ago I went through a phase where I didn’t want to watch many movies because I found so many to be filled with disempowering programming.   When I met my husband I started watching more movies again because he loves them and it’s fun to watch them together.  Now, I may watch more than him, and I’m finding that while there’s still a lot out there that’s not my cup of tea so to speak, there are lots of amazing gems to be discovered too.  🙂
As is life right!?!

Movies have a great power to inspire thoughts and emotions in us, and because of this power I generally am pretty selective in what I feed my mind.  When choosing something to watch though, you can’t always know what you’re about to mentally ingest, so it’s really nice when you find something that totally speaks to your soul.  Haute Cuisine was one of those movies for me.  I found it on netflix, and here’s a link to it on imdb. 

If I were to categorize my favourite kinds of movies I would say that there are four kinds that I currently very much appreciate:

1) Movies about actual life events, like documentaries, or real-life stories
2) Movies that instill a greater and deeper sense of appreciation for life 
3) Movies that are different, unique, and charming, and just make me feel good
4) Movies that inspire me to think about things in new ways and expand my consciousness 

The movie Haute Cuisine fits into all of these categories, but most dominantly it inspired the second in me. 

It is based on a real woman’s life story and it chronicles her journey as she becomes the personal chef for the President of France.   The dialogue is in French with subtitles, which was nice; I enjoyed listening to the French language and it made me realize that I haven’t forgotten everything I learned in French Immersion.  🙂  Still, if I didn’t know a word of French it would be fun to listen to. 

The best part of this movie was seeing this woman names Hortense totally light up and have extraordinary passion and focus towards using her imagination and expertise to create extraordinarily delicious food.  It’s like she’s given the total freedom and every resource to do what she does best and what brings her the most joy in the world, and consequently what brings other people joy too who get to eat her food. 

Part of what gives this story its juiciness is that Hortense is challenged in her position by male staff who want her gone, and later by having to limit and compromise her creations according to people who have authority over her who she does not see eye to eye with.  I find her experiences inspiring and relatable on many different levels.  I think anyone who has an artistic drive to create and express their own unique vision without compromising their integrity, can relate with her journey. 

One thing I’ll mention is that if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may not appreciate this movie as there’s quite a bit of meat production and consumption  that goes on.  That brings me to another reason why I really appreciated this movie though, which is that she gets so excited about good quality local food, and connecting within her community to source the best tasting, best quality things she can find.  To me, that passion and that connectedness to where things come from and how things are made is what makes cooking food, and eating food especially enjoyable and nourishing.  

There are a myriad of aspects, themes, and golden nuggets within this movie that can be analyzed and contemplated in greater depths.  One thing that really stood out to me was a quote that was mentioned near the end of the film relating to restrictive dieting with the aim of achieving better health.

“Such a tiresome illness is good health preserved by too much dieting”

I find this idea to be particularly important at this time of year during the month that is infamous for food restrictions and making hollow commitments to eat better, which are often driven out of guilt and a feeling of not being good enough.  

The reason this quote really jumped out at me is because throughout the movie I could see an amazing link between a healthy powerful vibrancy that radiated from Hortense and the wonderful restriction-free food that she made.   Essentially it inspired me and reminded me of the importance of savouring and appreciating whatever it is that I choose to eat, and that the amount of care and passion I put into what I eat ultimately has the power to nourish me on many more levels than just my phsical body.  In other words we don’t need to deprive our souls and our spirits to feed our bodies, nor is it effective to do so, because the best health comes from feeding all aspects of ourselves simultaneously and in congruence with each other.

Haute Cuisine is a movie that I could watch several times and get newly inspired and achieve different cognitions each time I watch it.  I would definitely recommend it especially to those who love food and being creative.   

In the comments below I’d love to hear what movies have inspired you lately to have a deeper appreciation for some aspect of your life?   What kinds of movies in general do you find most inspiring? 

Cheers to savouring deliciousness and embracing all levels of healthiness,

Jodi 

 

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