As an integral part of human culture, food sits right up there along with sex and violence, and therefore, gets a lot of play on the big screen. Cinematic food is a tricky business, though. Like a TV commercial it has to look appetizing (unless, of course, the point of its being there is to suggest the opposite), unlike a TV commercial it also has to look realistic, be consumed by actors for take after take, all the while being subtly suggestive, somehow, of a deeper purpose.

On the one hand, this would seem a very easy list to compose: Most films based on some kind of reality will have a scene involving the protagonists eating something, but not so fast. We're not looking for just any film that has a character chowing down. In order to make this list, food has to be absolutely integral to the plot in some fashion.

This rules out a surprising amount of seemingly food-related cinema: Not 'My Dinner With Andre', where food takes a clear back-seat to the heady discussion Andre and Wally are having; ditto with 'Diner' which is indeed set in a small, American eatery, but the food is not a deciding factor; and, too, something like 'Mystic Pizza' which might have a lot of food in the background, but never really as any kind of deciding factor.

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