The Hundred Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren is available on Blu Ray on December 2nd. The film centers on Hassan Haji is a young Indian boy living with his family in a small village in the French Alps. His family opens a restaurant just 100 yards from a three-star Michelin rated restaurant owned by the eccentric Madame Mallory. The feud that erupts between the competing eateries doesn't prevent Hassan from wandering around Madame's restaurant and asking questions about her cooking techniques. Reluctantly, Madame agrees to take Hassan on as an apprentice, which only fuels the rivalry with his family. Hassan takes his newly-honed skills to Paris, where he opens his own restaurant and encounters a whole new world of unexpected adventures. The movie is co-produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey who are featured in the Bonus extras on the Blu Ray.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is treated like a Spielberg-directed film on home video, with the Blu-ray passing on deleted scenes and audio commentary in favor of a few HD featurettes.
First up, "The Hundred-Foot Journey with Steven Spielberg & Oprah Winfrey" (12:14) sits down the two famous producers for a discussion of their first collaboration since The Color Purple nearly thirty years ago. They speak of the movie in general terms, suggesting neither was very involved creatively, though Spielberg at least mentions he discovered Charlotte Le Bon doing costumed weather reports on French TV and chose Lasse Hallström to direct on the basis of his 1985 Swedish film My Life as a Dog.
"The Recipe, The Ingredients, The Journey" (16:06) is the true making-of featurette. It looks at production in detail from various perspectives, including author Richard C. Morais (primarily a journalist), third producer Juliet Blake (who optioned Morais' book), and director Hallström. With talking heads and good behind-the-scenes footage, it covers such topics as filming locations, production design, costume design, visual effects, the food, photography, and the score by -- who else? -- A.R. Rahman. This solid piece is easily the most valuable of the extras (which is good news for DVD viewers, because it's all they get on that edition).
"On Set with Oprah Winfrey" (3:53) finds the influential TV host touring the set and appreciating the details.
Finally, "Coconut Chicken" (5:09) lets Indian food consultant Chef Anil Sharma walk us through the simple making of a savory looking dish.
I spoke to the cast ( Manish Dayal, Helen Mirren and Charlotte LeBon) when the film was released theatrically. Please click on the link below. Enjoy!