I LOVE Big Night.
It must be the best food movie ever, but more importantly it is simply a great movie. Because, though it is great as a foodie movie, it also reaches incredible heights of telling about the human experience. This film is exceptionally deep. At its heart is the struggle of two Italian immigrant brothers, Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and Secondo (Stanley Tucci), to make their floundering, too-far-ahead of its time restaurant successful in 1950s New Jersey. And this central story is beautiful. Supporting stories about their romantic and business relationships provide a richness to this film equal to any dish on the menu. Full of good humor, even the brothers’ names, Primo and Seccondo, are a little running joke.
When I first saw Big Night in the theater, it spoke to me as a quintessentially pure indie film, and at the same time ‘the definition of film’. This ‘definition of film’ is a theme of mine that I’ll explore more later, but for now know that it’s a label I apply as a mark of rare cinematic quality. Big Night is such a rare gem.
This movie is full of delights. Here is one:
Hot Dog! The greatest culinary wonder: “Il Timpano.” Marvelous. I cannot tell you how it ends, but I can tell you what I exclaimed when it did: “Now that’s a movie!” 10/10