Julie and Julia (2009) In two separate storylines, Meryl Streep plays Julia Child at the beginning of her career as she learns the skills to become a superior chef, and Amy Adams plays a young blogger named Julie who devotes a year to attempting to make one or more recipes a day from Julia Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking and then writing about her success or failure. A charming and amusing film about finding joy in both cooking and writing about food.
Bottle Shock (2008) The somewhat fictionalized true story of several Napa Valley Wineries in the 1970’s who competed in a wine competition in France. The results gave worldwide recognition to several wineries, including Stag’s Leap and Chateau Montelena. The cast includes Alan Rickman, Chris Pine, and Bill Pullman. Based in part on wine connoisseur and commentator Steven Spurrier’s book about the event The Judgment of Paris.
Big Night (1996) In this highly acclaimed Indie film, two brothers, who own an unsuccessful restaurant, decide to make one daring attempt to make their mark in the restaurant world by throwing a party for bandleader Louis Prima. A fussy chef, erratic staff, customers, and rivals may ruin their chances of a successful “big night.” The cast includes Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Minnie Driver, and Isabella Rosellini.
Sideways (2004) This critically acclaimed comedy-drama features Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church as a pair of 40-something buddies who take a road trip through the Santa Barbara wine country. They find themselves drawn to a pair of local women (Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh) with the same passion for wine, who inspire them to rethink the direction of their lives. (Oscar winner for best adapted screenplay)