06 May 2016 6749 Views


by James Murphy



(Oh and in her downtime? GUESS which movie publication Jane started following on Twitter and acknowledging? Yep. Movie-Viral). 

(Nb: this piece is ‘peppered’ with movie clips; the connection is thematic and becomes clear at the end, kinda like a Marvel post credits sting). 

Here We Go.





I know. You’re gonna say: This is a FILM column. Movies! Maybe Comic Book stuff at a push. But FOOD? And food on a UK TV show? How is THAT relevant here? Even films about food /Chefs tend to crash and burn (Sorry: BRADLEY COOPER).





There ARE some actors and the like who excel in food innovations and cookery (GWYNETH PALTROW’s excellent ‘IT’S ALL GOOD‘!; GERARD DEPARDIEU: ‘MY COOKBOOK‘; SIR MICHAEL CAINE  at LANGAN’S etc; and no, PLANET HOLLYWOOD does not count: Arnie/Sly/Bruce..sorry!).





OK: it’s a tenuous and precarious connection at first sight between film and the culinary arts. And yet: there IS a unity of purpose to produce the very best work in both crafts and arts. Besides which, cookery is now an entertainment premise in television that draws on many a cinematic motif.



In turn, we are reminded that cookery and cinema share in the ability to enhance and enrich our lives. Critically: there is a common sense of endeavour, persistence and a momentary yet beautiful reward for the most valiant hero/heroine. Taken together: they can make one’s heart soar. And so it was with MASTERCHEF on BBC this year and especially in the triumph of JANE DEVONSHIRE.








Watching Jane proceed through the contest and then win was a glimpse of truly inspirational and valiant fortitude. She overcame exceptional challenges; propelled by talent and love for a craft yet never a sense of entitlement. No ‘I WILL WIN’ mantras.

Jane made herself an underdog in her own story and that made it all the more beautiful when we watched her reach the peak of culinary craftsmanship. She showed star quality: a warm glow of compassion and decency. Those are the kinds of features and motifs that one sees in movies, all the time. Frequently, it’s a sports-person or super-hero or protagonist with the odds against them with just one final shot at greatness. Rare in the real world. But it DOES happen and Jane is a case in point. 




Jane started following MovieViral just a few days ago. Returned our messages. Liked our comments. This was at the height of the contest, just days from the final. No PR team. No Diva nonsense. Just a kind hearted, warm and decent soul. And Jane clearly loves movies and has excellent taste in movie magazines!




Plus, Jane’s story: truly inspirational. This is a person who brought up four lovely kids, mastered the tricky art of a marketing career and survived a life threatening battle with Cancer. Most people would stop there. Jane? She just kept striving and one could see her cookery craft develop within the course of the show. Jane’s work and skill won the cooking contest. But her soul and presence won the viewers’ hearts.

That made for AMAZING television, regardless of how much or little one knows about or appreciates good cooking. I myself cannot cook for..toffee..and babybell in bacon and ‘macarotto’ (don’t ask) cannot be counted. But my beloved Mother is a Cordon Bleu, so trust me, I appreciate good food. Happiest of memories of bringing home a girl who looked just like Scarlett Johansson to enjoy the best food in Birmingham (my place).




But I digress. Or do I? Food. Movies. Television. The Human Condition. Jane the Master-Chef! Where am I going with this? What’s the connection? Well, Jane followed MovieViral. On Twitter. Did I mention she followed us on Twitter? 😉 So, it’s not a huge leap to imagine that the lady loves a movie or two on the rare occasions when she ‘chills’?

And Jane’s food was cinematic: visual set pieces, like production design. All delivered with support of the show’s excellent format, which harnesses the art of the MONTAGE to optimal effect, engaging the emotion and creating the tension required as the final was approaching.




And when Jane WON? Well: it was right up there WITH the kind of cinematic moments that one freezes in the mind as fantastical yet inspirational. A perfect symbiosis.


This was Jim Carrey escaping in THE TRUMAN SHOW. Stallone as Rocky Balboa climbing THOSE steps. Hugh Grant’s Prime Minister giving THAT speech in LOVE ACTUALLY. It’s Bill Murray waking up to a new day in GROUNDHOG DAY. Tom Cruise’s Maverick being crowned the TOP GUN.


Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne climbing out of the Pit in DARK KNIGHT RISES. Robert Downey Junior taking his first flight as IRON MAN. Julia Roberts’ Erin winning at the end of ERIN BROKOVICH. Melanie Griffith in WORKING GIRL, looking out of her skyscraper window view to the music of Carly Simon (‘Let the River Run‘). ET cycling over the Moon. Pretty much anything from Frank Capra. JAMES BOND looking over London from the rooftop in SKYFALL.

And so on. I think you ‘get’ me, yes? 



Those spine tingling MOMENTS that movies are all about. Except this victory for Jane was and is REAL. Granted: it’s reality television. But still ‘real’. A HUMAN story of triumph over adversity with hard work, rewarded. Jane is a most inspiring poster-girl for that message.

I suppose what I’m saying, if I’m saying anything at all..is that sometimes cinema DOES come alive and reminds us that it’s ‘ok’ to see the world through the hopeful aperture of an idealised art-form.

The love of Cinema makes one more sensitive to the triumphs of the human spirit. It does not numb but rather HONES our abilities to identify, embrace, rejoice in and thereby communicate inspirational examples of hard work, determination fortitude and love.  


Oh and Jane is a star. And Her story? Pure cinema. And yet: REAL. Best of both worlds!







CONGRATULATIONS to ALL the MASTERCHEF finalists and indeed to any contestants who went far in a tough contest.  But yes: special mention, JANE! The world is now your..oyster! Go get ’em. GO ‘VIRAL’! Thanks for giving us a real life glimpse of the cinematic feel good moment. Thanks for the inspiration. Oh and thank you for the ‘follow’ on Twitter 😉 ‘We will watch your career with GREAT interest!’. 


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