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Coffee and Arepas: How Food Defined the Oscar Movies of 2022

Okay, but why do the ‘Nightmare Alley’ eggs look so darn good?
Food Movies
By  · Published on April 18th, 2022

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that unpacks the use of food and meals in Oscar-nominated movies in 2022.


Certain things feel especially at home in the cinematic medium. While dance is absolutely its own art form, there’s an undeniably magical quality to the way that dance feels on-screen. The same holds true for car chases, kisses, and a whole host of kinetic subjects that feel distinctly cinematic, for whatever reason.

But nothing, not even dance, can compare to the relationship between film and food. Cooking, eating, and dining are integral aspects of how people come together and express themselves. You can tell a great deal about a person, and indeed a whole culture by what they eat and the way they eat it. Food is world-building and character development all in one. Just think of Barry Keoghan grotesquely devouring spaghetti in The Killing of a Sacred Deer or the gentle, home-cooked hug that is the egg-in-a-hole Olympia Dukakis makes in Moonstruck. Food on film hits different and thematically, it makes for a wonderful entry point into reviewing any one portion of cinema history.

So why not use food to reflect back on the films that secured nominations at the 2022 Academy Awards? Across categories and genres, there was certainly no shortage of cinematic cookery, from the spice-laced coffee service in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune to the steaming arepas of Encanto to the nostalgia-courting drive-in burgers of Licorice Pizza. So it back, relax, and prepare to get hit with hunger pangs: here’s how food defined the Oscar movies of 2022.

Watch “Cinefoodie 2022”:


Who made this?

This video essay on how food made its mark on the films nominated for Oscars in 2022 is by herrozzy a video essayist based in Acapulco, Mexico. You can follow them on Twitter here. And you can check out the rest of their exceptional (and often calming!) work here on Vimeo.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).