FILM / Critical Round-up

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The Independent Culture

'The film has moments of charm and mischief. And I may try the recipes. But set an Esquivel yarn next to a Marquez yarn and you see what a vast instructive gap exists in Latin American fantasy-fiction between the wonderful and the merely whimsical.' Nigel Andrews, Financial Times.

'The film, nicely acted by all concerned and with a screenplay by the author of the book, looks good, but seems a rather better cooking manual than a dramatic entity. It marks Mexico's history without making any effective comment on it, and it's stronger about the place of women in Mexican society than when it is casting vaguely about for a parable about food, sex and politics.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian.


'Along the way, the film balloons into a monstrosity. By throwing so much cultural significance on to the characters' shoulders, Hackford ensures they rarely resemble living people. He also blunts the impact by beating his drum too loudly, too long.' Geoff Brown, Times.

'It is realism writ so large that drama becomes melodrama . . . In short, this is a film as impossible to ignore as it is to treat seriously at first. But there is, all the same, a kind of redeeming excitement about its essential foolhardiness.' Derek Malcolm, Guardian.