Big Night

I got Big Night from Netflix recently. What an amazing little film. From Ian Holm portraying an Italian-American with gusto (always a powerful presence and mostly convincingly Italian here, his exit line is perfectly delivered) to Isabella Rosselini (delicious) and even The West Wing’s Allison Janney as a charming florist. Stanley Tucci is brilliant. He reminded me of a young Pacino in places, but that’s probably because I’m been watching a lot of old Pacino films. It’s amazing how Pacino has aged. Tony Shalhoub was convincingly passionate. Especially when trying asking the girl he likes about the book she’s reading…

But the real star is the food. Don’t watching this on an empty stomach. The climax is just amazingly tactile and you can almost smell the food being served. A nice ambiguous ending too.

Big Night has one of my favorite final scenes ever, partly because it’s so representative of the main characters, but also because it takes its time. It’s just two guys waking up and one of them makes an omelet, but it says so much.

Too bad Stanely Tucci hasn’t sustained the directorial talent he showed in Big Night. The Imposters was embarrasingly awful and Joe Gould’s Secret was just pedantic and flimsy.


Yes, the last scene is great. A long take that runs for a couple of minutes, no dialogue spoken, etc. It even functions as a lesson in how to cook an omelette. :)

Having said that, I am getting a little tired of “food” movies. I had to read a screenplay about a New York chef and every other scene it seemed like the hero was stuffing a piece of food in someone’s mouth, then watching as they had an orgasmic reaction. I think Big Night only did that once though, so it gets by mostly unscathed.

Yeah but Big Night did it in a brilliant montage scene that, as I think the EW reviewer called it, is sort of like food erotica. I’ve never been that hungry (on a full stomach) in my life.

That last scene is really great, like Tom said it’s two guys waking up and one makes an omelete, but I’d like to add that the third walking in is what makes it so perfect. Pretty much because of who cooked the omelete, what happened the night before, and touching nonverbal communication they use.

I’m sorry to hear that about Tucci’s other films.

I remember reading an interview with Isabella Rossellini talking about that banquet scene where Primo makes that huge whatchamacallit (I can’t remember the Italian name for that centerpiece dish). It looked incredibly delicious on the screen, but it was choosen for its visual appeal and not its flavor. They had like four of them made for the day-long shoot, and they were all apparently disgustingly unedible. So they had to shovel this stuff in and smile and pretend it was just delicious before spitting it out after a take. She said it was one of the hardest acting challenges she’s ever faced.

I, too, loved the movie btw.

That’s a funny story. I think it’s called “Timpano” (i.e. because of the drum shape).

Here’s another “movie eating” anecdote – in “The Gold Rush” when Chaplin eats the boot’s shoelaces, they are made of licorice. I think he had to do so many takes that he got sick. (Either it didn’t occur to him to spit it out, or the takes were long and he had to swallow it, or it just tasted sooo good…)

Most Broing Movie Ever. Saw it years ago when it came out at a film fare. Simply awful.