Victoria’s Foodie Friday Recap with The Race for the Golden Scallop

Victoria 2nd Annual Foodie Film Festival
June 20-23

The Oak Bay Beach Hotel‘s fabulous Chef Ian Rennie prepared a delectable taste-testing extravaganza with mini fried fish cakes that was very tangy to the senses and some excellently made mini-portions of halibut and fries (accented perfectly with cilantro). Both are to die for. These were not fries, but frites! These thinly slices morsels had all the right soft and crispy textures to define a fried potato. And the fish was fresher than catching it out of the ocean yourself.

These morsels helped kickstart the later evening of Victoria Film Festival’s Annual Foodie Film Fest. The first film offered was Jadoo: Kings of Curry, and one festive film monger couldn’t want and previewed it through VoD for a teaser for what’s to come. With this show now into its second year, this summer program is definitely going to be a delightful annual event.

Today, three more films (none of them sold out at time of press) and mouth-watering foodie delights will soon be offered. If last night was any indication, yes, even the Two Hungry Blokes may need a third stomach to handle everything that’s offered. Sadly, even we need a break but will return to look at the final day of the festivities.

THE GOLDEN SCALLOP

MOVIE REVIEW

83min
David Foster Foundation Theatre
Oak Bay Beach Hotel

Fast and Furious is the pace that the participants have to attain in the mockumentary, The Golden Scallop, if they are to win the prize. Three fried fish restaurants located in the New England area are selected to compete for this award. Even some of them seem intent in trying to sabotage their competition! That’s not good, but downright hilarious when caught in the act.

This film is made to spotlight the eccentricity and relationships found within these three cooking establishments and how they relate. Between “The Happy Hooker,” “Fishmonger,” and “The Caped Cod,” the challenge is how long can anyone stand up to the pressure.

This film is a melting pot of many storytelling techniques — from personal interviews to slice of life moments — to get the point across. Some of it works but the rest does not quite get there. This film is made to be in the moment with lots of hand-held shaky cam style recording used. This technique is required when filming around a real kitchen. However, the oil is not hot enough to realize that maybe the run-time is the issue for this film. Had it been trimmed by 10-15 minutes, the narrative could be made tighter.

Fortunately, Judge Wellington (James Cosmo) keeps the movie together. His crusty sailor cum Nixon-esque performance blows it out of the water and his zest that can put many a lemon to shame. Audiences can’t help but fall in love with this guy and when compared to the other stars, they seem very hum-drum in their life away from the kitchen.

Perhaps the father-daughter tale is just as interesting. Lindsay (Nicole Steinwedell) does not get to shine unless she feels the pressure from her dad, Buzz (nicely played by Brad Potts). But in her relationship with fellow cook, Seth (Tobias Jelinek), maybe there’s a spark of romantic interest going on. Their Happy Hooker business has been quite sad when Mikail (John Albano), a foreign immigrant, does not do the job right. Some viewers can come to hate him, but that’s an attestment to Albano’s ability to create an unlikable character.

At least this film is an enjoyable watch. People wondering what goes on behind many a kitchen can get a glimpse of some of the possibilities that could happen. Fortunately, not all diners, restaurants or bars operate like that. Heaven forbid Gordon Ramsay come in to rip any of these establishments apart!

3½ Blokes out of 5

People who have missed the screening can find this movie playing at select film festivals and it’s available on Amazon’s VoD service.

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