POSTED November 20 2012

What’s cooking for Thanksgiving?

Let’s not debate the merits of brining, or slow-roasting versus quick roasting. If we’re talking turkey, let’s just name those Thanksgiving movies we hold most dear. Mine are

Julianna Margulies, Lainie Kazan and Kyra Sedgwick have a secret in What’s Cooking>, and it’s not the stuffing recipe.

Gurinder Chadha’s What’s Cooking (2000) and Peter Hedges’ Pieces of April (2003), both of which marinate the main course in family crisis and serve up tasty reconciliation for dessert. Not exactly Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom from Want,” but except for the final scene in Hannah and Her Sisters, what is?

Besides the Chadha and Hedges, I confess that I always laugh when the turkey is used as a projectile, as it is in Rocky (1976) and The Doors (1991). And I always shudder when I see the tense Thanksgivings in The Ice Storm (1997) and American Beauty (1999). Your favorite Thanksgiving movie? Why?


  1. Gary Kramer says:

    My absolute favorite Thanksgiving film is the vastly underrated and underseen HOME FOR THE HOLIDAS, directed by Jodie Foster. It’s got a great cast–Anne Bancroft(!), Robert Downey, Jr.(!), Holly Hunter(!). It’s dysfunctional fun. While I love dinner table scenes, my favorite moment has sad sister Cynthia Stevenson working out on a home gym treadmill, telling her sibling Hunter that this is the only time she gets to herself and to please leave her alone. It’s a bracing moment, and one everyone who has had enough of the famdamily can relate to.

  2. Joe says:

    Foster’s “Home for the Holidays” with Hunter, Downey and Bancroft!

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