Mid-August Lunch is a perfect little film. A nice, short palate cleanser of a film about the small moments of happiness and love in the most banal of situations. Giovanni is a middle aged man still living / caring for his mother who is a stubborn battleaxe in her own way. As a favour to a friend he also looks after his mother for a couple of nights, which soon opens up to the man being surrounded by four elderly women with very definite idea about how things should be. And especially how things could be cooked. And there is not much more to it than that, except a few nice cinematic asides of a deserted italian city in the unbearable heat. It does not want to make a grand statement about the care of the elderly, generation divide or even the status of the older woman in Italy. You can talk about that, but you can just enjoy the short movie.

Short and sweet. But whilst there is plenty of action in the kitchen, I wonder if they missed a trick of not putting even more cooking in. The debate between how to make a decent macaroni pie went over my head, and I would have liked more of this familial and generational divide to be explored. I am not saying I need an onscreen recipe, or even Dave Lamb doing a voiceover (though it might have added something with the subtitles) but I want more mixed media experimentation. I came out wanting some decent Italian food – and sated myself in 500 up ont he Archway Road a few days later. But hey, Mid-August Lunch shown, mid-august, in a restaurant. It adds itself to the great food films with Dinner Rush, Big Night and Ratatouille.