Monday, May 25, 2009

The Tale of Despereaux

Dustin Hoffman, Matthew Broderick and Emma Watson have lent their voices to the three central characters, and Sigourney Weaver as the narrator seems to reveals too much, too soon.

If you haven’t seen the film, you’re probably wondering why I am discussing an animated film on my food blog. Well, the story unfolds with soup, in the not so magical kingdom of D’or that celebrates Soup Day in a big way. An unfortunate incident lands friendly rat Roscuro (Dustin Hoffman) in hot soup and a series of nasty things follow – the King bans soup, rats and manages to make the sun disappear as well as the rain. More details and information on the annual soup festival in Lille, France are included at the end.

When it comes to rats and cooking, comparisons with the brilliant Ratatouille immediately spring to mind. While The Tale of Despereaux is enjoyable it lacks punch, wit and humour of the well scripted plot and narration of the former to even deserve to be mentioned in the same breathe.

On the whole the ingredients for this cinematic soup are far from cohesive, the attempt to fuse humour, fantasy and drama together far from effortless. On the whole, the film is ‘cute’, failing to cross the barrier from a feel good, forget fast flick to one that deserves acclaim by delivering a tasty treat.

The Golden Ladle Soup Festival takes place at Wazemmes, Lille, France as an annual event. The next one is scheduled in May 2010. Lille's Golden Ladle Soup Festival (La Louche d'Or) brings soup connoisseurs together each year in the Wazemmes quarter of the city. The marketplace and bistros are the focus, with local bands performing and cooks rustling up delicious soups all day.

Lille Tourist Office:
Palais Rihour,
BP 205, 59002
Lille Phone: +33 (0) 3 59 57 94 00
Fax: +33 (0) 3 59 57 94 14

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting! Didn't know there was a soup festival in Lille. Sounds like the Stollen festival at Dresden. Europeans do like their food...

BTW, Ratatouille is among my favorite movies. Of course because of the food-centric theme, but also because of the beautifully rendered scenes of Paris and story itself.