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Review Roundup: The Hundred-Foot Journey

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Photo: The Hundred-Foot Journey/Facebook

Director Lasse Hallström's new film The Hundred-Foot Journey which stars actors Helen Mirren, Om Puri, and Manish Dayal hit theaters last week, and the reviews aren't the kindest. Although the movie has a "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, many critics found the film to be incredibly predictable and a little too bland. Most found the movie to be a "comfort food film" that wraps up a little to easily into a perfect little package. The majority agree, however, that the film is well acted and most enjoyed the film's visual beauty, especially the food porn. As with all food-centric films, brace for reviews loaded with food metaphors. Below, check out reviews of the Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg produced movie:

The Hello, Emotions News: Time's Richard Corliss enjoys the feel-good nature of the film: "[It's] a story that forges warm feelings between two generations of restaurant rivals, The Hundred-Foot Journey is on a mission to make you cry. Whether you oblige will depend on your fondness for, or immunity to, the gentler stereotypes of movie romance." [Time]

The Formulaic News: Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty finds much to like about the film but is not a fan of how conventional the plot is. He writes, "The battle unfolds with all the predictability of a train-station timetable… All of these by-the-numbers beats go down smoothly enough…It's soothing, easily digested comfort food. Which is to say it's the perfect recipe for a filmmaker like Hallström." [EW]

The Great News: The San Francisco Chronicle's Mick LaSalle finds that there is "nothing corny" about the movie. In fact, it "is one of those rare movies that gets better as it goes along. It unfolds, one incident into the next, in what feels like a methodical pace, until very soon everything about it feels lived in, and realized." [SF Gate]

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[Photo: The Hundred-Foot Journey/Facebook]

The Too Perfect News: Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times liked the movie but writes that it all ties up too nicely: "Enjoyable as Hundered-Foot Journey can be, it's still possible to wish that its gloss was not quite so shiny, that the film had more of the messy juices of life to it." [LAT]

The Painful News: The Guardian's Tom Shone applauds the "swishy slo-mo" food shots and that's about it. In particular he hates the third act ("easily the most boring stretch of the film") which he writes "should have retitled itself The Slightly Longer Than Anticipated Journey, or It Looked a Lot Smaller On The Map." Two out of five stars. [Guardian]

The Food Looks Great News: The Wall Street Journal finds that while the movie is at time flawed, visually it's stunning: [The director] and his cinematographer, Linus Sandgren, certainly fulfill their first responsibility to this film—making the food look screen-siren glamorous. (Still, it doesn't seem fair to French cuisine that Indian dishes come in otherworldly colors.)" [WSJ]

The Seriously, the Food Looks Great News: Mark Jenkins files a review for the Washington Post in which he calls the film "merely amiable." The food porn is a different story: "The real stars, of course, are the food and the scenery, both bathed in celestial light. The Hundred-Foot Journey is basically a promo reel for small-town France and Gallo-Indian food fusion. Anyone who requires a more substantial meal should eat before heading to the theater." Two stars. [Washington Post]

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[Photo: The Hundred-Foot Journey/Facebook]

The It Brought Out my Inner 'Foodie' News: Rolling Stone's Peter Travers writes, "The heavy plot sauce weighs down the movie. Mirren and Puri, two pros who know how to lift an audience over plot hurdles and turn a merely digestable diversion into a treat. Linus Sandgren's camera caresses the cuisine like an ecstatic lover. It brought out the foodie in me." Three-and-a-half out of four stars. [Rolling Stone]

The So-So News: Though Vulture's Bilge Ebiri calls the movie "a moving piece of food porn, he also finds that "the film never quite manages to make the various bits of obligatory poetry about food and passion sing. We get a lot of breathless proclamations that cooking is about soul…but there's a disconnect here, perhaps an intentional one." [Vulture]

The Really Bad News: New York Times movie critic A.O Scott has few kind words to say about the film. Quote" There is a lot of soft-core culinary montage in the movie…Words like 'cèpes,' 'garam masala,' 'écrevisses'and 'tandoor' are uttered with almost erotic intensity. And yet The Hundred-Foot Journey is likely neither to pique your appetite nor to sate it, leaving you in a dyspeptic limbo, stuffed with false sentiment and forced whimsy and starved for real delight." [NYT]

The Bland News: Sheri Linden of the Hollywood Reporter finds that the movie is great for when you don't want to think. Quote: With its picture-postcard setting and mouthwatering Indian and French delicacies, The Hundred-Foot Journey is a movie designed to comfort. Stimulating taste buds and little else…Fans of the source best-seller and seekers of non-challenging counterprogramming to summer's genre fare will savor the offering. But colorful locales and exotic spices can't hide its essential blandness." [Hollywood Reporter]

· All The Hundred-Foot Journey Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Good News/Bad News Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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