8 of the Best Food Moments From the 2022 Oscar Nominees

8 of the Best Food Moments From the 2022 Oscar Nominees

When will the academy add a "most delicious onscreen meal" category?

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Photo: Matt Petit - Handout/A.M.P.A.S. (Getty Images)

This year’s Academy Award nominees were announced earlier this week, and while many are speculating about which performers were snubbed and which films are pleasant surprises, there’s one thing we at The Takeout can’t help but notice: Food plays a big role in a lot of these films.

Whether it’s an important part of the plot, a not-so-subtle symbol of themes throughout the movie, or just a delicious-looking onscreen meal, there are eight cinematic moments that caught our eyes. Use this as inspiration to start planning your Oscar party menu now.

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2 / 10

Being the Ricardos

Being the Ricardos

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Screenshot: Prime Video

Yes, there was plenty of controversy surrounding Being the Ricardos in the months leading up to its release surrounding casting and Aaron Sorkin’s lack of humor injected into a movie ostensibly about one of the funniest TV shows of all time. Still, Nicole Kidman brought home the Golden Globe for Best Actress, and she, Javier Bardem, and J.K. Simmons are up for Oscars of their own next month.

It’s a recreation of one of I Love Lucy’s most iconic scenes that may have snagged Kidman the prize. Flashing between the color of the behind-the-scenes moments to the black and white of the TV show’s final cut we see the birth of Lucy’s famous grape-stomping scene. As the writers struggle to figure out how to keep Lucy in the vat, we see Kidman’s Lucille Ball confidently and effortlessly solve the problem. “She drops her earring.” Cut to Kidman rolling around in the grapes to riotous laughter, showing just how Ball asserted her dominance as the funniest woman to ever live.

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3 / 10

Encanto

Encanto

There’s something just oh so appetizing about animated food, and the Colombian feasts in Best Animated Feature nominee Encanto are no exception. The added bonus here is that Julieta Mardrigal, the mother of the film’s hero, Maribel, has the power to cook healing foods, instilling magic into Colombian dishes like buñuelos and arepas.

In a family full of people with magical abilities, Maribel searches for power of her own, and it is often around the dinner table that we see the family’s magic in full force. Not only do the meals serve as a moment of togetherness, even amid conflict, they also represent a family holding onto their culture where ever their house may take them.

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4 / 10

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

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Screenshot: HBO Max

Named for the unforgettable makeup worn by televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker, The Eyes of Tammy Faye humanizes Bakker, who in the last few decades was simply a punchline for many. Jessica Chastain earned her Oscar nom for embodying the culture icon, not just replicating her voice and demeanor, but bringing heart and understanding to a woman often represented as just a caricature. Throughout the second half of the film as Bakker is trying to kick an accidental drug habit, she is seen reaching instead for Diet Coke, not only a trendy sign of the times in which she was living, but a symbol of all she had to overcome.

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5 / 10

Licorice Pizza

Licorice Pizza

This Paul Thomas Anderson joint is nominated all across the board and gets Takeout points for title alone, even though we never once see a Licorice Pizza (has anyone tried to make one at home yet?). For 15-year-old Gary Valentine (nominee Cooper Hoffman), the Italian restaurant Tail O’ the Cock serves as not only a go-to date night and hangout spot, but a place where he can be the adult (and mega movie star) he so desperately wants to be. When he walks in to grab his usual spot, ordering two Cokes, pronto, even the older object of his affections, Alana Kane (nominee Alaina Haim), has to take notice. Inside the walls of Tail O’ the Cock, it’s established that this is Gary’s world and we’re just living in it.

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6 / 10

The Lost Daughter

The Lost Daughter

There’s a sing-songy rhyme repeated by two little girls throughout The Lost Daughter: “Peel it like a snake! Don’t let it break!” It’s first heard abstractly as we see present-day Leda (nominee Olivia Colman) settling in for a solo beach vacation. Later we find out that it was a ritual established by young Leda (nominee Jessie Buckley) during which she peels an orange with a knife in one swift motion. The resulting rind becomes a snake that her two young daughters play with, making it hiss and slither around their mother. The unbroken peel, of course, represents much more than just an orange, but we don’t want to give too much away.

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7 / 10

Luca

Luca

The centerpiece of animated feature nominee Luca is a race that we wish were real. Sea-monster-turned-real-boy Luca joins the children of Portorosso, Italy, to train for (and ultimately compete in) the Portorosso Cup, a triathlon made up of swimming, biking, and pasta-eating. Swimming comes first (an easy enough task for Luca, though he has to hide his identity in the water), then comes time to slurp down a plate of spaghetti, finishing things off by hopping on a bike with a belly fully of noodles. How would you fare in this competition?

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8 / 10

The Power of the Dog

The Power of the Dog

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Screenshot: Netflix

Jane Campion’s Western, The Power of the Dog, received 12 Oscar nominations—and for good reason. The film goes way beyond Western territory, taking cues from the Gothic romance, suspense, and coming-of-age genres. There’s not a lot of softness to worth with, but the few tender moments we see pay major dividends. That’s why we love nominee Jesse Plemons’ salad-serving sequence in the film’s first half hour.

We see Plemons’ practical, slightly awkward rancher, George Burbank, sitting with Rose Gordon, his harried love interest played by Kirsten Dunst (also nominated). Rose is overworked, verging on frantic as she tries to keep her boardinghouse afloat. George pops in to say hello and eventually assumes the role of salad server, much to Rose’s amusement (and relief). It confirms what we’ve always known about love: There’s nothing more romantic than setting the table.

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9 / 10

Spencer

Spencer

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Screenshot: Neon/YouTube

Food loomed large in the life of Princess Diana, who suffered from disordered eating for much of her life. Throughout Best Picture nominee Spencer, we see Diana (nominee Kristen Stewart) dealing with the stress of royal life by hiding away in the kitchen, befriending the head chef of the royal brigade who hides away her favorite eats to enjoy away from the watchful eye of the queen and her husband. Her fears and desires to escape manifest in a nightmarish soup filled with pearls that Diana feels forced to choke down. But while much of the film captures the darkness of royal life, the food moment we love most is synonymous with Diana’s freedom and escape. After deciding to leave her husband, she grabs her boys, hits a KFC drive-thru, and drives off into the sunset.

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10 / 10