Two brothers from Italy open their dream restaurant, Paradise, in New Jersey. However, their authentic food is too unfamiliar for the local tastes, and the business struggles. When a famous bandleader is scheduled to appear at Paradise, they will put all of their efforts into the important meal.
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One of my absolute favourite films: a shot of grappa laced with Prozac, a mouthwatering smorgasbord of charm, and possibly the best food film ever. Holm, Rossellini, Janney and the Tooch... and that's just the 'antipasto'. The 'secondo' is deft performances from Driver, Scott, Shalhoub et al. Best of all - let's call it the 'dolce' - is the cinematography: an absolute masterclass in where to place a camera.
Movies featuring food/cooking have become a genre unto themselves and this is my favorite of the lot. Script, cinematography, editing, score, and especially acting are without fault. The personal chemistry between all the primary performers just makes this film sing. I'd give it 4.5 stars if I could.
A perfect movie.
It touches on the many facets of human interaction, and trying to get by.
Th performances were delicate, thoughtful and overall, real.
I'm not sure why I've never seen this movie before, but it definitely won't be the last time.
This is why I love Mubi, for introducing me to a new favourite. I think what I love most about this film is the attention to detail and also the unspoken dialogue between the brothers is sublime. The "Goodfellas" type restaurant walkthrough was fun too.
I remember this film getting booed in the cinema I saw it at on it's first release. I guess sometimes there's no accounting for 'taste'. The film's tone is warm, understated, subtle and absolutely believable which makes it always a joy return to. The characters are, equally, fiercely passionate about their professions and each other, and played with a perfect balance of understated humour and conviction. A gem.
A wonderfully written screenplay that fascinates us with the stories and lives that circulate within the restaurant run by Shalhoub and Tucci. Most movies don't give a great deal of detail or conviction about the jobs that people really do. But in the time I spent watching this film, I understood their passion and their drive and why they wanted to continue working in a situation that was impossible to deal with.