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Tortilla Soup

4.5 out of 5 stars 222 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Inspired by Ang Lee's "Eat Drink Man Woman," this is the story of three grown sisters trying to cope with -- and live with -- their father (Elizondo), who has one simple rule: be home for Sunday dinner! Carmen (Obradors), the middle sister, is a beautiful and successful executive who has just been offered a dream job in Barcelona. Does she tale the job -- which offers big bucks and ensures her fathers happiness -- or follow her heart into the kitchen to cook the seductive and rebellious tortillas, tomatillos, and chiles that she loves? Maribel (Mello), the baby of the family, is off for college in the fall. But plans change when the bohemian free spirit Andy (Kinsi) enters her life. Who needs college when you can travel the world? The eldest, Leticia (Peña), is a prim and proper schoolteacher who lives a life of quiet devotion to her father, her pupils and the Lord until she starts receiving mysterious love letters. Add Hortensia (Welch) to the pot -- a flamboyant and flirtatious grand

The tantalizing genre of food films--stretching from Babette's Feast to Big Night and beyond--has a delicious new addition, Tortilla Soup. The food-preparation scenes will make your mouth water. Fortunately, the rest of the movie holds up as well. Hector Elizondo plays Martin, a widowed chef who is losing both his sense of taste and control over his three daughters: Leticia (the always superb Elizabeth Peña), a religious schoolteacher; Carmen (Jacqueline Obradors), a successful but unhappy businesswoman still carrying on an affair with her ex-boyfriend; and Maribel (Tamara Mello), a rebellious teen falling in love with a young Brazilian. When a pushy, nosy, but very sexy widow named Hortensia (Raquel Welch) comes along, the troublesome subcurrents in the family start to surface. Elizondo's understated gravitas anchors the story, while the three sisters have sex, eat amazing-looking food, and break plates in the kitchen. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Joel Joan, Nikolai Kinski, Constance Marie, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Tamara Mello
  • Directors: Maria Ripoll
  • Producers: John Bard Manulis, Meyer Gottlieb
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (222 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005TNEQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,302 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tortilla Soup" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The director, Maria Ripoll and the screenwriter, Vera Blasi had an uphill battle to say the least when they decided to adapt the incomparable Ang Lee's "Eat Drink Man Woman" to the screen with their "Tortilla Soup." Martin Naranjo (Hector Elizondo) is a master chef, though semi-retired from the restaurant he created, and living with three daughters: Leticia (Elizabeth Pena), the oldest and a high school chemistry teacher, Carmen (Jacqueline Obrados), an MBA and very successful in business and Maribel, in high school and searching for the "meaning of life" as all teenagers should be doing. This film is very much like "Soul Food" in that most of the action revolves around the dinner table with luscious-looking food designed and prepared by the "Hot Tamales" of Food TV fame. And like Ang Lee's film all the daughters and their father are searching for love, happiness and contentment.Aren't we all? There is no violence except for a few dishes that get broken. In fact nothing much happens except we are made privy to several interesting people and watch as they conduct their lives in a rich, deep and fulfilling manner. Besides Elizondo who always does a great job, the standout performance has to be Jacqueline Obrados as Carmen. Keep your eyes open in the future as I'm sure we are going to see great things from her. An interesting note: Nikolai Kinski, grandson of the famous Klaus and son of the also famous Nastassia plays Maribel's boyfriend, Andy. That's three generations of Kinski's now in the movies and Nikolai makes a good impression in a basic no frills role. Food means love, sharing and camaraderie in "Tortilla Soup," (Mexican characters) as it did in "Soul Food"(African-American characters) and "Eat Drink Man Woman" (Taiwanese characters). Maybe the United Nations should make note of this. You think?
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Format: VHS Tape
A multigenerational tale of a widowed Latino father trying to hold his family of 3 fractious daughters together with the bond of carefully prepared meals. The food preparation scenes will keep you spellbound and can be appreciated on many levels: cooking lesson (really!), act of love, devotion, offering of sacrifice, parental love from a man who has a hard time saying I Love You. His daughters, a repressed Catholic, a liberated high schooler, and a 'modern woman,' just won't conform to his standards of proper Latinas. Then Raquel Welch, a nosy, in-your-face widow comes on the scene, and the fireworks begin.
But there's the food. Always the food, beginning, middle, and end.
Don't miss it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I totally agree with Karen Potts in her review here of March, 2002. I just saw this movie, as I missed it at the theaters when it came out. It was a breath of fresh air. I want to be entertained when I go to a movie, not be depressed or disturbed by what I have seen. This is a feel-good movie, light and entertaining. Hector Elizondo is great as usual, as a chef and widowed father of 3 daughters, each of them yearning to spread their wings and yet feeling tied to home and tradition. The respect and love they each have for their father is apparent, and delightful. The family dinners and conversation that takes place at the table is a focal point of the movie. I especially enjoyed the performances of Elizabeth Peña (eldest daughter, Leticia) and Paul Rodriguez as her love interest. They were such fun to watch. Raquel Welch's performance as well was spicy and delightful, as the sexy divorcee pursuing Elizondo, much to the dismay of his daughters. The food looked mouth watering, and in itself is worth seeing the movie for. This movie has a PG-13 rating but only because of sexual innuendos in the beginning between one of the daughters and her lover, but nothing graphic is shown, and there is no bad language. Our family including the 10-12 year olds all loved it.
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Format: DVD
This was a delightful movie--- a family story, a food story, a comedy, and some unexpected romances. In turn funny and poignant, this was meant to entertain and it did!
It was wonderful seeing Hector Elizonda in a leading role as Martin, a former chef who has lost his senses of taste and smell. He is a wonderful actor, and the three actresses who played his daughters who still live at home did a good job too. Raquel Welsh was a bit "out there" but was not on the screen that much.
Martin prepares incredibly elaborate meals...but now just for his daughters and an occasional guest. He is old-fashioned and very proud and thinks he is still taking care of his grown daughters....except that they think they are taking care of him! Despite his efforts to control the lives of those under his roof, each of the girls has her own ideas about the future.
The food scenes are beautifully filmed and leave the viewers' mouths watering. Each meal looks more scrumptious than the last!
All in all, a feel-good movie that did a good job of entertaining.
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Format: DVD
Hector Elizondo is an actor of uncommon skill. Aside from his superlative work as a Doctor on "Chicago Hope" he has been often cast as a sideman in films - the trusted aide, the sympathetic boss - but often in supporting roles. In "Tortilla Soup" he takes the leading role in a Mexican-American remake of Ang Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman.

He plays Martin Naranjo, a Mexican Chef so gifted that all who eat his cuisine proclaim him an artist. The movie has delightful flourishes where we see dishes being prepared, then eaten, that are so delightful that you can almost perceive the wonderful aroma leaping from the screen. Martin is has lost much of his sense of taste, which he thinks is a cruel irony, but his Cuban partner reminds him that Beethoven composed his greatest symphonies after he had lost the sense of hearing. Martin also has 3 daughters who he has raised sinced becoming a widower 15 years ago. Elizabeth Pena is Leticia, the pious schoolteacher who is invited to ask the blessing prior to the family meals although she turns a simple "grace" into mini-sermons. Jacqueline Obradors is the saucy Carmen, who was encouraged to get her MBA by Martin, but has difficulty balancing the borderline ethics of large business deals with her growing realization that she is not pursuing her passion - as her father did with his wondrous cooking. Tamara Mello is the youngest Maribel who finds herself torn between the pressure to go to college and to "find herself". Constance Marie is family friend Yolando, who is the same age as the older sisters and is coming to the end of a dissatisfying marriage with a young daughter who Martin dotes on.
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