Skip to main content

WHAT'S COOKING?

USA / UK, 1999 (MIFF 2000, International Panorama)

Director: Gurinder Chadha

"That most American of holidays, Thanksgiving, serves as the focal point for this raptly celebratory look at the modern American family. What's Cooking? interweaves the workings of four diverse Los Angeles households—African-American, Jewish, Latino and Vietnamese—as they make their preparations for arriving guests and relatives for the traditional festive dinner. Who but an outsider would have the keen perception and discernment to capture the nuances of family relationships and culturally specific behaviour, decor, and most of all food, with this degree of accuracy and freedom?

Director Gunnder Chadha (Bhaji on the Beach), an Englishwoman of Indian descent now living in Los Angeles, working with a wonderful cast (Joan Chen, Mercedes Ruehl, Kyra Sedgwick) and superbly talented collaborators, has created what could well become a classic holiday film ot immense charm and energy. What's Cooking? is a beautiful tapestry of love and anger, difference and familiarity and a moving vision."—Sundance Film Festival

See also...

I'm British, But...

Pump up the Bhangra! Using Bhangra music and the testimonies of sons and daughters of Asian Brits, the film uncovers a defiant popular culture - a synthesis - part Asian, part British. ... "We cannot ... More »

A Nice Arrangement

Set in the North London home of an Indian family on the morning of their daughter's wedding, A Nice Arrangement explores with wit and a keen eye, the subtle complexities of a young woman's decision ... More »

TRASH HUMPERS

“Pity the festival-going fool who stumbles unawares into Harmony Korine's patently abrasive, deliberately cruddy-looking mock documentary Trash Humpers.” - Variety ... Amongst the badly-lit alley ... More »

AMBUSH

In the early days of the Summer of 1941, the Finnish army is mobilised on the Russian border. An idealistic young lieutenant, Eero, leads his platoon into a newly conquered village. There he sees his ... More »

JANICE BEARD: 45 WPM

Janice Beard is a woman with a vivacious personality and an overactive imagination, who has been causing shocks her whole life. Her father died of a heart attack while she was being born, and her ... More »

ORDINARY DECENT CRIMINAL

The escapades of notorious Irish criminal and folk hero, Martin Cahill, have spawned three films in as many years. John Boorman's excellent The General, followed by Vicious Circle and now Thaddeus ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director