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In the film — produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey — Mirren is Madame Mallory, a chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the south of France. She holds her kitchen to impossibly high standards and lambastes her staff for the slightest misstep.
“Last night, we served this,” Mallory says, holding up a limp piece of asparagus. “In this restaurant, the cuisine is not an old, tired marriage — it is a passionate affair.”
Tensions simmer and boil over when an Indian family opens a restaurant across the street. “If your music is anything like your food, I suggest you tone it down,” Mallory admonishes the Indian restaurant’s chef (90210‘s Manish Dayal).
Oscar-nominated Lasse Hallstrom — who helmed the food-centric Chocolat and last year’s Safe Haven — directed the film from a script by Locke writer-director Steven Knight. The film is based on the 2010 novel of the same name by Richard C. Morais.
Winfrey has been a longtime champion of the novel, putting it on her O magazine’s 2010 summer reading list. Spielberg directed Winfrey in 1985’s The Color Purple.
Disney releases The Hundred-Foot Journey on Aug. 8 and is presumably hoping it enjoys success similar to that of Fox Searchlight’s 2012 sleeper hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
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Santa Barbara International Film Festival