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The Food Club - Film Review

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Published January 22nd 2021
A cooking lesson towards a more fulfilling life - Konumáttur
the food club 2020 film review, madklubben film review, community event, cinema, fun things to do, night life, date night, performing arts, entertainment, karoline hamm, stina ekblad, kirsten olesen, foreign film from denmark, subtitled film, lume, nepenthe film
Images © Lume, Nepenthe Film

This is a story of three lifelong girlfriends who travel to Italy together to attend a cooking class in Puglia. Having been abandoned by her husband Henrik (Peter Hesse Overgaard) on Christmas Day, Marie (Kirsten Olesen) starts to slowly crumble and fall apart. Berling (Stina Ekblad) has been the eternal bacherlorette, outwardly living the sweet life but has a difficult non-existent relationship with her daughter. Vanja (Kirsten Lehfeldt) has not been able to move on from her late husband, even though he's been gone a while, concentrating more on her dog than her daughter.

In cinemas on 4 February 2021 with a running time of 99 mins, this is a new film to add to the list in the vein of Eat, Pray, Love, with a lot of heart about mature characters you can identify with, rediscovering life.


Marie is always busy engaged in work and household tasks and it doesn't occur to her that her husband has strayed. As a result, she's in shock to find out he has another woman and wants a divorce. Having just received a present from her children to go on an Italian cuisine tasting course for two, she tries to give it away to her girlfriends from her youth, Berling and Vanja. They convince her she needs to come away with them by dangling the carrot that it'll give Henrik, her husband, time to miss her.

Once they arrive in beautiful Puglia, Italy, their hosts at the farmhouse in the countryside greet them, along with three other compatriots, a couple, Mette (Mia Lyhne) and Morten (Rasmus Botoft), on a health kick, and Jacob (Troels Lyby), a landscape gardener. Their days are marked with cooking lessons, experiencing the cuisine of the country and dinners washed down with red wine. By the end of the five days, these three friends will not be the same. Each one will find the opportunity to redefine herself, in this joyous ode to the realities of life, love and friendship.


Originating from Denmark and targeting the mature over 45 years of age audience, having to read subtitles takes nothing away, nor distracts, from the story and emotions presented in the film. The fourth feature film for director Barbara Topsře-Rothenborg, she's shown great understanding about women over 60, who are easily identifiable as our mum, sisters, daughters, and even ourselves.

A warm heartfelt story about friendship and truth. It's a little bit funny with a shade of romance and sadness, coupled with delicious Italian food. This movie will have you in its grasp from the start and might even make you shed a tear or two. There are no empty spots to fill or scenes left hanging in the air, just a roller-coaster of emotions that are subtly portrayed but bubbling like a volcano in its depth. It's a fine art for an actor to portray an emotion that they're meant to be struggling with, while outwardly acting like there's nothing the matter, yet, have you as an audience feel its depth and volume. The leading cast have done a stellar job and their experience shows.


This is no Italian road trip movie that takes you on a sight-seeing tour of Italy. It instead is character-driven and concentrates on the roadblocks in life. Unlike Eat, Pray, Love, it's less about these three mature friends finding themselves and more about facing truths and realities, honestly, and working towards a life of fulfilment. It's about learning that it's never too late to start a new life, even when old age is crap. That lifelong friendships are gold, with a nod to the strength of women, especially when they're supporting each other.

The director has definitely shown her prowess in flavouring the whole film with a bittersweet and sincere look at old age, whilst being uplifting about the future with adventures, strength in unity and the possibilities of the alternatives of life. You'll smile, you'll laugh, you'll cry but you wouldn't want to miss the journey for the world.

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Why? Madklubben (2020) aka The Food Club Film Review - Danish movie with subtitles
When: In Cinemas 4 February 2021
Where: Australia
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