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What is it about food and sex that connects the two so intrinsically? Is it the pleasure principle? Food and sex are so intertwined that sometimes it’s impossible to choose between them. For example, see the infamous study that suggests 52-percent of women would choose chocolate over sex. While said results may sound a bit dubious, one thing is for certain: it’s possible to extract as much pleasure from licking the cream from a delicious cannoli as it is from…well, you get the idea. The term “food porn” nods to this culinary/sexual conflation — food porn meaning the very sexy depiction of mouth-watering fare that excites your taste buds, similar to how something erotic can get you going. Movies are particularly shameless purveyors of food porn. Sometimes when viewing a film, the food looks so good, and gets one so riled up, you’re basically clawing your way to the fridge for some sweet release. This month at Toronto Film Scene, we salute the films that arouse our salivary glands.

Julie and Julia (2009)

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Julie and Julia is very self-aware food porn, because, in addition to watching the eponymous characters create, and recreate, dish after dish of delicious-looking French food, both Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and Julie Powell (Amy Adams) wax poetic about how much they enjoy food. Take this quote from Julie: “I cooked artichokes with hollandaise sauce, which is melted butter that’s been whipped into a frenzy with egg yolks until it’s died and gone to heaven. And let me say this: is there anything better than butter? Think it over: every time you taste something that’s delicious beyond imagining and you say, ‘What is in this?’ The answer is always going to be butter. The day there’s a meteorite heading towards the Earth and we have 30 days to live, I am going to spend it eating butter.” That’s passionate devotion to butter. It’s impossible to watch this film without salivating. Also, the enthusiasm with which Julie and her husband prepare and devour beef bourguignon has been known to make vegetarians regret their life choices.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)

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Jiro is a sushi chef who’s mastered his art. Jiro’s tiny restaurant in Japan requires reservations months in advance. Jiro loves making sushi to such an extent that he literally dreams of it; it’s clear why after watching this documentary. The way Jiro expertly slices and assembles sushi is mesmerizing, especially while witnessing shot after shot in reverent slow-mo. Cuts of fresh salmon, octopus and other fish are lovingly prepared by Jiro throughout, giving the viewer a new appreciation for the creation of these tiny pieces of edible art and a major craving for sushi.

Waitress (2007)

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Pie — lots and lots of buttery, sweet pie. That’s what you’ll remember from this cute confection. Keri Russell plays Jenna, an unsatisfied waitress who works at a diner and spends her time creating inventive pies inspired by her life. “Bad Baby,” “I Hate My Husband” and “Fallin’ in Love Chocolate Mousse” are just a few examples of the quirky pies, which look incredible. Seriously, if you have a sweet tooth, watching Waitress is dangerous. You’ve been warned.

Ratatouille (2007)

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As the only animated film on this list, Ratatouille occupies a special place in our hearts. This endearing movie, about rat/chef Remy, who creates incredible dishes (using a kitchen hand named Alfredo Linguini as his marionette), is filled with so many great gastro moments that it’s difficult to pinpoint just one. However, one thing is for sure: you’ll feel incredibly satisfied when Remy finally creates the perfect ratatouille by film’s end.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

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This classic was the first exposure to the world of food porn for many children. Lickable wallpaper, whipped cream mushrooms, jellybean stalks and chocolate rivers are things of childhood dreams — and they are very real in this sugar-filled kaleidoscope of a film. If you can watch this film without running out and purchasing chocolate immediately after its conclusion, you have incredible reserves of willpower.

Marie Antoinette (2006)

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There’s a montage in this film in which Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst) and her ladies in waiting indulge in a colourful, and endless, array of sweets, champagne and shoes. It’s the ultimate representation of the excess that made Marie Antoinette infamous. Tray after tray of delectable, gorgeous confections appear onscreen and the ladies stuff their faces, as one should when confronted by French pastries. It’s appropriate that the montage is set to “I Want Candy” because, yes, you will crave sweets after viewing this.

It’s Complicated (2009)

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This Nancy Meyers rom-com is a surprising addition to the list, but consider this: a kick-ass kitchen is essential to cooking, and the one in this movie is gorgeous. It’s the perfect setting for bakery owner Jane (Meryl Streep, again) to whip up the delicious meals and cakes that figure so prominently in this film. One especially mouth-watering scene features Jane heading to her bakery in the middle of the night to make chocolate croissants for Adam (Steve Martin). The loving way she works the pastry from scratch and how Adam and her enjoy the end results (they have the munchies, but still) will turn you on. We all want a chocolate croissant now.