Food Guide to 2012's Best Picture Nominees and Past Winners

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Food moments in the films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards
Food moments in the films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards

On the evening of Feb. 26, the most esteemed actors and actresses in Hollywood will come together to honor the best films of the year at the 84th annual Academy Awards.

However, this is not the first time that food has been a recurring theme in some of the year's best movies. In fact, each and every Best Picture winner from the past six years has included at least a couple of food-focused scenes. Last year's winner, The King's Speech, for instance, has a number of strong culinary ties. Perhaps most significant is the moment when Prince Albert (later King George VI) admits to Lionel Logue that when he was a child, his nanny would starve him, which Lionel concludes must have been a contributing factor to his stammer.

Slideshow: Food Guide to 2012's Best Picture Nominees and Past Winners

Here are some of the most significant food scenes and references in 2012's nominees, as well as those in the winning films dating back to 2006.

Slideshow: America's Most Outrageous Food Vehicles

Weinstein Co.
Weinstein Co.

The Artist
• To get out of an argument with his wife (Penelope Ann Miller), George Valentin (the main character, played by Jean Dujardin) tries to lighten the mood by dipping his head into his breakfast and getting their dog, Uggie, to lick whipped cream off his nose.

• On the evening of his big movie premiere, Valentin dines out with his chauffeur at the same restaurant where up-and-coming starlet, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo), is being interviewed by the press. The two actors have a confrontation about the changing times of the film industry.

• Valentin's butler is seen chopping up vegetables in the kitchen just before he is fired.


Fox Searchlight/Merie Wallace
Fox Searchlight/Merie Wallace

The Descendants
• The final scene of the movie features the three main characters, Matt (George Clooney), Alex (Shailene Woodley), and Scottie (Amara Miller) eating ice cream together while watching March of the Penguins.

• Matt announces his plans to keep his family's plot of land on Kauai during a backyard barbecue.



Fox Searchlight/Merie Wallace
Fox Searchlight/Merie Wallace

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
• During a flashback to 9/11, Oskar (Thomas Horn), the main character, is sent home from school and, still oblivious to the events, decides to stop for a juice before reaching his apartment.

• Later in the movie, Oskar shares a juice box with The Renter (Max von Sydow), a man who he meets during his expedition to discover clues left by his father (Tom Hanks).


Dreamworks
Dreamworks

The Help
• At the start of the movie, the ladies meet up for bridge club at Elizabeth Leefolt's (Ahna O'Reilly) house. One of the maids, Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer), makes a chocolate pie to bring over to the party.

• Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard) fires Minny for using the family's bathroom instead of the one outside, then to get back at her Minny deficates in a chocolate pie and serves it to Hilly. Later on, Hilly's mom (Sissy Spacek) buys another one of Minny's pies during a silent auction on behalf of Hilly as a joke.

• After Minny gets fired from her job she is hired by Celia Foote (Jessica Chastain), who wants to learn how to cook. She's particularly interested in learning how to make fried chicken. Later in the movie Celia surprises Minny with a feast of all the foods minnie taught her to make

• Skeeter (Emma Stone) gets set up on a blind date; she's the only one in the restaurant to thank the black waiter for serving them.


Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

Hugo
• The main character, Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), resorts to stealing food to survive while living in train station.

• One of the primary characters, Madame Emilie (Frances de la Tour), runs the train station café that Hugo often frequents.




SPHE
SPHE

Midnight in Paris
• One of the films's opening scenes features main character Gil (Owen Wilson) and his fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams), sitting down to a fine meal in Paris with Inez's parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy). They run into Paul (Michael Sheen), an old college friend of Inez, and his wife, Carol (Nina Arianda), during dinner.

• The following day, Gil, Inez, Paul, and Carol spend the day together and end up going to a wine tasting and dinner afterward.

• The first time Gil is transported back to the 1920s he goes to a restaurant with Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Alison Pill and Tom Hiddleston), where they meet Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll). Gil returns to the restaurant in present time the next day and finds that it's become a laundromat.

• Inez dines alone with her parents one evening and tells them that she's decided to go out dancing with Paul since Carol is sick in bed and Gil is busy working on his novel.

• Near the end of the film, Gil and Adriana (Marion Cotillard) travel further back in time to the Belle Époque, where they dine at legendary Paris restaurant Maxim's and meet some of the most iconic artists and thinkers of the era.


Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures

Moneyball
• Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), the main character, eats frequently throughout the movie, including everything from doughnuts to chewing gum.

• In one scene, Beane's daughter (Kerris Dorsey) asks him if he thinks he'll lose his job while they eat ice cream sundaes in the kitchen.

• David Justice (Stephen Bishop), a former Yankee who has been traded to the Oakland's A's, goes to grab a soda from the vending machine outside the locker room and discovers he has to pay for it, because the team cannot afford to provide their players with free refreshments.



Fox Searchlight/Merie Wallace
Fox Searchlight/Merie Wallace

The Tree of Life
• In a scene that establishes the mood and tone of the O'Brien family, they enjoy a typical dinner together near the start of the movie. Mr. O'Brien (Brad Pitt) disrupts the meal to teach his sons about the importance of classical music.






Dreamworks
Dreamworks

War Horse
• Albert (Jeremy Irvine), the main character, works on his father's farm tending to the crops and selling them in the village.








Wikimedia Commons/Flickr-upload-bot
Wikimedia Commons/Flickr-upload-bot

The King's Speech
• The royal family sits down to dinner and King George V (Michael Gambon) passes away.

• Upset over his father's death, Prince Albert (Colin Firth) asks Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) to pour him something "stronger" than tea. They bond over drinks.

• Albert admits to Lionel that when he was a child, his nanny would starve him, which Lionel concludes must have been a contributing factor to his stammer.

• When Myrtle Logue (Jennifer Ehle) meets Albert (now King George VI) and Queen Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) in her home, she invites the couple to stay for dinner. The Queen replies that they have to decline due to a "previous engagement."

Click here to see more of the Food Guide to 2012's Best Picture Nominees and Past Winners

- Molly Aronica, The Daily Meal

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