Lasse Hallström is quite an underrated director. He’s had some misfires recently, like the Josh Duhamel romancer “Safe Haven”. The guy tends to get a little syrupy and sentimental. But by and large films like “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, “The Cider House Rules”, “Chocolat” and “My Life as a Dog” are pretty good, they’re so full of warmth and life. I even liked “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale”. The Swedish filmmaker has just signed on to helm a feature film adaptation of best-selling book “The Hundred-Foot Journey” by Richard C. Morais.

Deadline today reported that the project is going into production under the Dreamworks banner. Early casting talk has Helen Mirren eyeing a leading role. The book, published in 2010, has received critical acclaim, with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain declaring it “Easily the best novel set in the world of cooking ever.” The book is officially described like this:

“A middle-aged chef, Hassan Haji, recounts his life’s journey, from his family’s modest restaurant in Mumbai to his elegant restaurant in Paris where he has conquered the insular world of French haute cuisine. A tragedy at home in Mumbai pushes Hassan’s boisterous family into a picaresque journey across Europe, where they ultimately settle opposite a famous chef, Madam Mallory, in the remote French village of Lumière. After a series of hilarious cultural mishaps, the grand French chef discovers, much to her horror, that the young boy cooking in the cheap Indian restaurant across the way is a chef with natural talents far superior to her own. A culinary war ensues, full of plot twists, pitting Hassan’s Mumbai-toughened father against the imperious Madam Mallory, a battle royale that finally reveals to young Hassan his true destiny in life.

Full of eccentric characters, vivid settings, and delicious meals, Hassan’s charming tale lays bare the inner workings of the elite world of French haute cuisine. In the process, however, Hassan also discovers a truism that bedevils any man who has gone out into the world to make his mark: the true costs of rising to the top are only revealed later in life.”

 

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