Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Movie Review - Big Night

"Big Night" is a very interesting movie made in 1996 starting Tony Shaloub, Stanley Tucci, Minne Driver and Isabella Rosalini. It is set in 1950's America with two Italian brothers, Primo & Secundo who came to America to open a restaurant. Primo is a highly talented chef and Secundo runs the dining room.
The movie is about the hard work it takes to run a restaurant, how finicky the public is and how hard it is to stay true to your beliefs. In this case, Primo holds true to his beliefs with his healthy food - while Secundo, desperate to survive in the restaurant business is willing to try anything to book the house.
The relationship between brothers is the heart of the movie, with Italian food and business matters coming in a close second.
The actors do an amazing job portraying Italian brothers struggling to make it in America.
Tony Shaloub is a fantastic actor, portraying a determined chef holding true to his culinary methods.
The character - Primo- reminded me of Dad!!!
In one scene, Secundo is busy dealing with customers who want "spaghetti & meatballs" instead of the seafood risotto that Primo prepares with care that takes a lot of time. Later, when Secundo suggests to his brother that they should remove risotto from the menu, Primo gives him a look that I knew what was coming next!
Primo agreed and then offered to cook "hot dogs" instead.

There was one scene where Primo, Secondo and others are making a timbale or "drum pasta". It reminded me of making lasagna with Dad, Veron, Jalal & Ashley this past winter!

Big Night captures the Italian cooking experience. It manages to demonstrate how important good food is to Italians and how much care goes into preparing good food.
Sadly, it demonstrates how the public doesn't recognize "good food" over "familiar food".

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