11 films for food and wine lovers stuck inside this winter

June 2, 2020

Cabin Fever is hibernating this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t consume all the cheese and wine we want at home. Yes, it’s not as fun as Blazing Brews or Fondue by the Fire, but if saving humanity means Netflix and homemade grazing boards, we’re okay with that.

If you need a little something to do, we’ve put together a list of 11 films to watch this winter. Many star food and wine, some (okay one) is kid-friendly and all of them are entertaining AF. The hilarious Sarah Robinson reviews the list for us below.

Your challenge? Crack a cozy red and start streaming.

1. Cabin Fever

You’ll be happy to know Cabin Fever Festival does not feature flesh-eating viruses. The movie does though. It’s about five college grads who rent a cabin in the woods and one by one, become victims of the virus, and some homicidal locals. All these kids wanted was some, “peace and relaxation and relentless pounding”.(That’s an actual quote from the movie.) Now they’re skin is falling off and some poor Airbnb owner is getting a one-star review.

Speaking of reviews, the 2016 version of this filmic masterpiece didn’t score big on IMDB, but it is a fun watch if you’re partial to horror and stereotypes about gap toothed yokels and hot college idiots. Just make sure you watch it with someone else, because only psychopaths watch horror movies alone. And yes, the artwork below is from the original 2002 Cabin Fever movie, but it's cooler than the 2016 artwork so here it is.

Where to watch? SBS On Demand

2. Cast Away

If you have to watch one actor ramble around a deserted island for two hours and twenty-three minutes, with no-one but a bloody volleyball to bounce ideas off, it better be Tom Hanks. He also happened to catch and recover from COVID-19 in Australia recently. While in quarantine he offered great tips on how to stay mentally healthy. Yep. Tom wins at #isolife.

If you are spending more time than usual home alone this winter, Cast Away is the perfect film to make you feel better about yourself. ‘Cause no one’s more alone than Chuck Noland (Hanks) and his volleyball best mate. While you’re at it, make a bloody ball friend for yourself, or just ask a real person over. Because Mark McGowan says it’s okay now.

Where to watch? Amazon Prime

3. Parasite

Parasite was the first South Korean film to score the Palme d’Or. It also won four Oscars, which means it’s really bloody good. The ‘tragicomedy’ follows a poor yet loving family who cleverly bluff their way into a wealthy Seoul family’s household. The Seoul folk can’t stand people who ride the subway and are, well, major d*ckheads.

Its creator describes Parasite as, “a comedy without clowns, a tragedy without villains” and to be honest, it’s better to watch without knowing too much. At its core, the film is a satirical comment on class discrimination. It’s also subtitled, which means you can’t scroll Insta and follow the plot. Choosing a screen never felt so good.

Where to watch? Amazon Prime

4. The Shining

If psychological horrors are your jam, you need this film in your life. The story follows writer and alcoholic in recovery, Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson), who becomes the offseason caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in the isolated Colorado Rockies. Jack brings his wife Wendy (played by Shelley Duvall) and young son with him. It’s not fun for them.

Based on a Stephen King novel, the film was directed by Stanley Kubrick and released in 1980. These days, it’s considered to be one of the most influential horror movies ever made. And for good reason. Nicholson’s slow descent into madness will grip you from the outset, and make you never want to take a holiday with your dad.

Where to watch? YouTube

5. Wayne’s World

Ever wanted to start a web series in your parent’s basement? Get some hot tips from the OGs of home broadcasting, Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey). The rock obsessed duo host a public access cable show (‘cause it’s the nineties) from Wayne’s mum’s basement. Then they sell the rights to the show, and all chaos breaks loose.

The cult classic also stars Tia Carrere, an evil Rob Lowe, Lara Flynn Boyle (all hail Twin Peaks), and, um, Meatloaf. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a watch. If you’ve seen it, it’s worth a re-watch. If anything, you’ll get some epic dating advice like, “if you blow chunks and she comes back, she’s yours”. We are not worthy.

Where to watch? Stan

6. Sideways

An out of work actor and a depressed teacher slash failed writer head to Santa Barbara wine country for a weeklong road trip before one of them gets hitched. The writer (played by Paul Giamatti) hates Merlot, loves Pinot and drinks out of a spit bucket when a server refuses to give him a ‘full pour’. (Please never do this.)

If you’re a wine buff, enjoy a good comedy and hate merlot, this gem needs to be on the top of your winter watch list. When it was released in 2004, tourism in the Santa Ynez Valley wine region in California went haywire. Also. Merlot sales dropped two per cent and Pinot Noir went up 16.

Where to watch? iTunes

7. Somm

The Master Sommelier exam has one of the lowest pass rates in the world. This documentary follows four men, as they prepare to take the prestigious three-part exam. Not only do candidates have to know every wine in existence, they need to know regions, sub-regions, which wines pair best with certain foods – and they have to memorise it all.

The amount of knowledge these guys need to absorb is near impossible, but they’re trying, at the cost of their sanity and their relationships. It’s an intense watch, delving into a world that sees somms as the new rock stars of their industry. Watch it with lots of wine.

Where to watch? Amazon Prime

8. Ratatouille

Whether you have kids in proximity or not, Ratatouille is worth a watch this winter. It’s about a rat called Remy who dreams of being one of the greatest chefs in Paris. A strange dream for a rat, but with hard work and some luck, this rodent believes anything is possible. The humans feel a little different though.

Somehow, Remy makes friends with a chef who can’t cook and helps the bumbling human become somewhat competent at his job. Pixar really has an amazing way of making films that are awesome to kids and grownups alike. If you want a movie that will lift you up and make you hate rats a little less, add this to your watch list.

Where to watch? YouTube

9. Chef

Jon Favreau stars as a chef who kicks off with a food critic that has the gall to give him a bad review. Then, he quits his swanky restaurant job and gets back to his roots, opening a food truck in LA with his young boy. The whole movie is bloody heart-warming and also makes you kind of hate food critics a little bit more. But #notallfoodcritics.

Fair warning. This film will make you want to eat. A lot. So, get some kind of epic grazing board on your coffee table before pressing play, or better yet make some Cuban cuisine to honour the kind of nosh Favreau serves from his pumping food truck. Seriously though. Don’t we all want a friend who owns a food truck?

Where to watch? iTunes

10. Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia was Nora Ephron’s final film before she died in 2012. And it’s the perfect legacy for this amazing filmmaker. The story follows Julia Child (Meryl Streep) in her early years as the only woman in a Le Cordon Bleu French cooking class in the fifties. Undaunted, she collaborates on a French cookbook for American housewives.

Fast forward to 2002, where we meet Julie Powell (Amy Adams) who distracts herself from her horrible job by cooking every recipe in Child’s cookbook. No spoilers though. This comedy drama will seriously warm your heart, and make you wonder, can Meryl Streep be any more awesome?

Where to watch? Netflix

11. Chocolat

Back when Jonny Depp was hot he made a movie with Juliette Binoche called Chocolat. Set in a small French village in 1959, Vianne (Binoche) opens a chocolate shop just as lent is about to begin. Vianne wears beautiful, colourful clothes, has an illegitimate child and encourages the religious townspeople to embrace their senses.

The village mayor thinks she is luring locals to temptation, when really, Vianne is helping them live their #bestlife by selling chocolate that may or may not cause copulation. In between, Jonny Depp smoulders and makes us want to watch his entire nineties back catalogue. This comedy is a must watch (with chocolate).

Where to watch? Stan

Challenge accepted?

Watched one yet? Share your review on our Facebook page so we can see what you really think. And if there’s a flick you feel needs to make our list, share that with us too.

June 2, 2020
Cabin Fever Festival takes place on Wadandi Boodja. Festival management acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and play, and ask you to tread lightly and with respect when you’re enjoying Cabin Fever events.

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