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Talk about a visual treat.

| By Sukriti Wahi | Journal

Our Favourite Dessert-Inspired Movies to Indulge Your Inner Sweet Tooth

Talk about a visual treat.

It’s safe to say that dessert is one of the most universally loved things in the world.

Crossing cultures, languages and everything that make us ‘different’, the shared love of a good sweet treat has the power to surpass them all. And as any chef worth their hat knows, when it comes to food in general, we first eat with our eyes – a rule from which confections are no exception.

Hence, it comes as no surprise that dessert, and it’s ability symbolise everything from comfort to luxury, has also struck a chord with filmmakers throughout the years, with many a movie made where the sugary goodness almost steals the show – and we’ve pulled together a round-up of films that do just that.

From lacquered mounds of chocolate to pastries we’d leap through the screen for, keep reading for a slew of dessert-centric movies that will satisfy your inner sweet tooth.

1. Chocolat

Where can I watch it? Binge

Good luck watching this and not catching a cacao craving. Chocolat tells the story of mysterious single mother Vianne Rocher (played by Juliette Binoche) and her daughter, who move to a conservative French village and open a chocolate shop during Lent, sparking scandal and making an enemy of the pious town mayor who is determined to drive them out. Over time, however, Vianne’s sweet nature and even sweeter treats capture the hearts of the townspeople, including – and especially – an enigmatic newcomer named Roux.

2. Marie Antoinette

Where can I watch it? Binge

Underappreciated at the time of its 2006 release, today Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette is something of a cult favourite. Starring Kirsten Dunst as the titular queen, the film chronicles her life from a young Austrian archduchess to doomed French royal in the glamorous world of Versailles. Reimagining the real-life Marie Antoinette’s penchant for extravagance, the film is a visual feast through and through, from the elaborate costumes to the decadent displays of cakes and macarons, the desserts symbolising her detachment from the plight of the common people.

3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Where can I watch it? Apple TV+

While the 1971 version of the film veered light and whimsical, Tim Burton’s 2005 take puts a darker spin on the wild and wondrous dessert world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. True to Roald Dahl’s book of the same name, the story follows young Charlie Bucket and his Grandpa Joe who win a tour of the eccentric candy-maker Willy Wonka’s mysterious and magical factory. Joining a group of four other prize-winning kids, they explore a psychedelic land of otherworldly confections, from chocolate fountains to candy trees, with each child’s flaws – gluttony, greed, pride and obsession – leading to comical downfalls along the way.

4. Waitress

Where can I watch it? Disney+

A dark comedy and the inspiration for the popular Broadway musical of the same name, Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a small town waitress stuck in an abusive marriage with an unwanted pregnancy. Finding an outlet for frustrations in pie-making and her quirky co-workers – and an affair with her doctor – she pours her emotions into baking alongside her quirky co-workers, hoping that a pie making contest will be just the ticket out of her troubles.

5. Grand Budapest Hotel

Where can I watch it? Disney+

A Wes Anderson classic, The Grand Budapest Hotel is as visually dreamy as it is beautifully written. Deftly using humour to depict tragedy, the tale is set in a fictionalised war-torn Europe, unfolding through the eyes of the titular hotel’s lobby boy, Zero Moustafa, and his mentor, the legendary concierge Gustave H. With the latter framed for murder after inheriting a valuable painting, the pair begin a whimsical adventure to clear Gustave’s name and reclaim his rightful inheritance. Throughout the film, the hotel’s divine pastries serve as symbols of luxury, juxtaposed against the chaos of their escapades, with desserts taking on an unexpected significance along their quest.

6. Amelie

Where can I watch it? Disney+

An iconic French film about life’s little pleasures, Amélie follows the whimsical journey of its shy and imaginative titular character after she discovers a hidden treasure in her Paris apartment. Deciding to embark on a mission to bring joy to the lives of those around her, she carries out her plans through a series of playful interventions, all while grappling with her own desires for love and connection. Desserts-wise, it’s best remembered for the golden, caramelised crust of the crème brûlée Amélie takes great joy in cracking – a recurring motif of comfort, indulgence and nostalgia throughout the movie.

7. Julie & Julia

Where can I watch it? Apple TV+

Directed by Nora Ephron, Julie & Julia is the story of Julie Powell, a modern-day New Yorker defeated by her soul-sucking job who decides to distract herself with a challenge to make all 524 dishes from the first cookbook by pioneering 1950s chef, Julia Child. Jumping between past and present, the film shows the unexpected parallels between the lives of the two women in very different times. Although not a film strictly about desserts, this foodie classic doesn’t skimp on the onscreen sweet treats, with French classics like pear clafoutis and tarte tatin, among others, making delectable cameos throughout the film.

8. Like Water For Chocolate

Where can I watch it? Prime

A Mexican magical realist tale intertwining romance, family dynamics and the transformative power of food, Like Water For Chocolate is a treat on many levels. Bound by family tradition to look after her mother, protagonist Tita’s parents forbid her from marrying her true love, Pedro. After watching him wed her older sister instead, she pours her emotions into cooking, her intense passion infusing her dishes with magical properties that deeply affect all who consume them – leading to joy, heartbreak and love story that spans over two decades.

9. Love Sarah

Where can I watch it? Prime

In the heartwarming Love Sarah, aspiring baker Sarah tragically passes away before opening the Notting Hill bakery she had always wanted. Intent on realising her mother’s dream, her daughter Clarissa teams up with Sarah’s best friend Isabella and estranged mother Mimi to make it happen. Together, they navigate grief and reconciliation, facing challenges and forming unexpected bonds over comforting cakes and their shared love of baking.

10. Lessons in Chocolate

An Italian romantic comedy with a side of dessert? Count us in. Set in Perugia – Italy’s chocolate capital – successful but ruthless construction contractor Mattia finds himself enrolled in a pastry-making course after cutting corners on site safety accidentally injures his worker Kamal – an Egyptian migrant and former pastry chef who is trying to revive his homeland career in Italy. Taking Kamal’s place in the course to save his future in the country – and avoid being sued by Kamal – Mattia discovers the art of chocolate-making and bonds with his charismatic instructor, Cecilia, and a little something called self-growth along the way.

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