Feast of the Seven Fishes Reviews

  • Jan 19, 2021

    If you're Italian, you're gonna love this movie. And if you're NOT Italian, you're still gonna love it.

    If you're Italian, you're gonna love this movie. And if you're NOT Italian, you're still gonna love it.

  • Jan 10, 2021

    Wonderful family Christmas classic! Will be watching multiple times every holiday season. Fantastically written and terrific acting. Reminds me of my own Italian American Xmas eve celebration. Adapted from a just as excellent graphic novel. Must see!!!

    Wonderful family Christmas classic! Will be watching multiple times every holiday season. Fantastically written and terrific acting. Reminds me of my own Italian American Xmas eve celebration. Adapted from a just as excellent graphic novel. Must see!!!

  • Jan 04, 2021

    I really wanted to love this movie, but the care needed to make this film genuine just wasn't in it. First, the plot was problematic. The lead character breaks up with her boyfriend because he chose a ski trip over spending Christmas with her and her family, but she later admits that her white bread family doesn't do anything for Christmas and then she herself spends Christmas Eve with a complete stranger's family. Why was she so upset with her boyfriend when she essentially doesn't choose her family either? Second, the Italian family wasn't developed enough throughout the film. As someone who comes from a crazy family who has their insane, quirky Christmas traditions that they've honed over the generations, I know that what makes a beautiful, crazy family Christmas is the relationships that are steeped in years and years of knowing one another and all the drama and old habits that come out when families spend time with each other around food and alcohol. The film didn't convey Tony's "crazy family" as crazy at all, except maybe Nonnie at times and I think it's because we didn't get a good glimpse at the relationships between the family members. That might not be a problem to some viewers, but the whole film hinges on Beth falling in love with not just Tony but his "crazy" family as well, choosing him AND them over the more privileged but bland match her mom wants for her. For that choice to resonate, I needed to see more of the family as real people rather than just vague snapshots of cliched, Italian Americans. I will say though, for all its problems, this film has come closest to representing family tradition at Christmas as I know it, and I really do appreciate the film for that. I just wish it would have done more.

    I really wanted to love this movie, but the care needed to make this film genuine just wasn't in it. First, the plot was problematic. The lead character breaks up with her boyfriend because he chose a ski trip over spending Christmas with her and her family, but she later admits that her white bread family doesn't do anything for Christmas and then she herself spends Christmas Eve with a complete stranger's family. Why was she so upset with her boyfriend when she essentially doesn't choose her family either? Second, the Italian family wasn't developed enough throughout the film. As someone who comes from a crazy family who has their insane, quirky Christmas traditions that they've honed over the generations, I know that what makes a beautiful, crazy family Christmas is the relationships that are steeped in years and years of knowing one another and all the drama and old habits that come out when families spend time with each other around food and alcohol. The film didn't convey Tony's "crazy family" as crazy at all, except maybe Nonnie at times and I think it's because we didn't get a good glimpse at the relationships between the family members. That might not be a problem to some viewers, but the whole film hinges on Beth falling in love with not just Tony but his "crazy" family as well, choosing him AND them over the more privileged but bland match her mom wants for her. For that choice to resonate, I needed to see more of the family as real people rather than just vague snapshots of cliched, Italian Americans. I will say though, for all its problems, this film has come closest to representing family tradition at Christmas as I know it, and I really do appreciate the film for that. I just wish it would have done more.

  • Dec 19, 2020

    If you're looking for a funny, feel-good Christmas movie you haven't already watched dozens of times, allow me to suggest THE FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES, a delightfully unorthodox holiday romantic comedy that somehow avoids all the pitfalls endemic to this type of film: It's sweet but plenty salty; warm yet brutally honest; a romcom that never feels like a "chick flick." Although set in a very specific culture, place, and time—the Italian American community in Morgantown, W.V., during the Christmas of 1983—its themes and ideas are universal and timeless. And it captures both the swirling, amiable madness of a large, intergenerational family gathering and the butterflies-in-the-stomach giddiness of a dawning love affair, which intersect in writer-director Robert Tinnell's story. Working class Italian American Tony (Skyler Gisondo) reluctantly agrees to a blind date with Beth (Madison Iseman), a WASPy Ivy Leaguer on home for Christmas break. Beth is on the outs with her stuck-up boyfriend, while Tony is trying to convince his clingy ex-girlfriend to move on. The two knock around town on an eventful Christmas Eve, and then Beth joins Tony and his large family for their annual holiday seafood feast. FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES, based on the Eisner Award-nominated graphic novel and cookbook of the same title, may be the first Christmas movie to spend most of its time in and around seedy bars and crowded kitchens. The loose-limbed narrative enables us to get to know Tony and Beth well, and to meet a kaleidoscope of well-sketched and highly amusing characters. The real joy of the film is spending time with Tony and his family and friends—and the actors who play them, including Addison Timlin, Josh Helman (from the X-MEN series), Joe Pantoliano, Ray Abruzzo (both of THE SPOPRANOS), Paul Ben-Victor (THE WIRE), Lynn Cohen, among others. The performances are uniformly convincing and endearing, but Gisondo is a revelation as Tony. FEAST is also beautifully shot and contains occasional "mixed media" stylistic flourishes that reminded me of Truffaut's Novelle Vague classic SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER. Many reviewers have likened FEAST to Bob Clark's evergreen A CHRISTMAS STORY. In some respects, that's a good comparison (Clark's movie also very funny, intimately observed, and elevates the minutely specific to the universally relatable). But FEAST is a very different movie with different ambitions. It was made for grownups and deals with (to quote Mick Jagger) "love and hope and sex and dreams" … especially sex. Profanity, alcohol and drug use, and "adult situations" abound. So maybe wait until the kiddies are in bed before putting this one on. This isn't about a young kid asking, pleading, and scheming to get what he wants most for Christmas. It's about a young man trying to figure out what he wants most for Christmas (and out of life), and whether or not he has the courage to pursue ask for it. THE FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES, released in 2019, is currently streaming (free with membership) on Prime or is available on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory. Check it out.

    If you're looking for a funny, feel-good Christmas movie you haven't already watched dozens of times, allow me to suggest THE FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES, a delightfully unorthodox holiday romantic comedy that somehow avoids all the pitfalls endemic to this type of film: It's sweet but plenty salty; warm yet brutally honest; a romcom that never feels like a "chick flick." Although set in a very specific culture, place, and time—the Italian American community in Morgantown, W.V., during the Christmas of 1983—its themes and ideas are universal and timeless. And it captures both the swirling, amiable madness of a large, intergenerational family gathering and the butterflies-in-the-stomach giddiness of a dawning love affair, which intersect in writer-director Robert Tinnell's story. Working class Italian American Tony (Skyler Gisondo) reluctantly agrees to a blind date with Beth (Madison Iseman), a WASPy Ivy Leaguer on home for Christmas break. Beth is on the outs with her stuck-up boyfriend, while Tony is trying to convince his clingy ex-girlfriend to move on. The two knock around town on an eventful Christmas Eve, and then Beth joins Tony and his large family for their annual holiday seafood feast. FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES, based on the Eisner Award-nominated graphic novel and cookbook of the same title, may be the first Christmas movie to spend most of its time in and around seedy bars and crowded kitchens. The loose-limbed narrative enables us to get to know Tony and Beth well, and to meet a kaleidoscope of well-sketched and highly amusing characters. The real joy of the film is spending time with Tony and his family and friends—and the actors who play them, including Addison Timlin, Josh Helman (from the X-MEN series), Joe Pantoliano, Ray Abruzzo (both of THE SPOPRANOS), Paul Ben-Victor (THE WIRE), Lynn Cohen, among others. The performances are uniformly convincing and endearing, but Gisondo is a revelation as Tony. FEAST is also beautifully shot and contains occasional "mixed media" stylistic flourishes that reminded me of Truffaut's Novelle Vague classic SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER. Many reviewers have likened FEAST to Bob Clark's evergreen A CHRISTMAS STORY. In some respects, that's a good comparison (Clark's movie also very funny, intimately observed, and elevates the minutely specific to the universally relatable). But FEAST is a very different movie with different ambitions. It was made for grownups and deals with (to quote Mick Jagger) "love and hope and sex and dreams" … especially sex. Profanity, alcohol and drug use, and "adult situations" abound. So maybe wait until the kiddies are in bed before putting this one on. This isn't about a young kid asking, pleading, and scheming to get what he wants most for Christmas. It's about a young man trying to figure out what he wants most for Christmas (and out of life), and whether or not he has the courage to pursue ask for it. THE FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES, released in 2019, is currently streaming (free with membership) on Prime or is available on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory. Check it out.

  • Dec 17, 2020

    How did I not see this until now? This was just the right medicine for this difficult Advent and Christmas season. No Santa, no elves, no angels, or miracles -- just a lovestory about being a human with a family at Christmas. Absolutely worth your time whether you're Grinch or Cindy-lou Who. #love #family #Christmas #feastofthesevenfishes

    How did I not see this until now? This was just the right medicine for this difficult Advent and Christmas season. No Santa, no elves, no angels, or miracles -- just a lovestory about being a human with a family at Christmas. Absolutely worth your time whether you're Grinch or Cindy-lou Who. #love #family #Christmas #feastofthesevenfishes

  • Dec 12, 2020

    Feels like not much happens throughout. Overall pretty dull, maybe was expecting too much after reading the other reviews on here.

    Feels like not much happens throughout. Overall pretty dull, maybe was expecting too much after reading the other reviews on here.

  • Feb 10, 2020

    This movie is very well done, true to the Italian traditions, accurately portrays Italian families of that area and era, and is so very heartwarming. Being of Italian descent and from the area where the movie was filmed, the movie brought back many fond memories for me. My family still celebrates the tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes every Christmas Eve, and have now added the viewing of this movie during the Christmas Season to our many other Christmas traditions.

    This movie is very well done, true to the Italian traditions, accurately portrays Italian families of that area and era, and is so very heartwarming. Being of Italian descent and from the area where the movie was filmed, the movie brought back many fond memories for me. My family still celebrates the tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes every Christmas Eve, and have now added the viewing of this movie during the Christmas Season to our many other Christmas traditions.

  • Feb 02, 2020

    Funny, heart warming, touching.

    Funny, heart warming, touching.

  • Jan 29, 2020

    Funny, heart-warming, and perfectly captured the time-period. The characters seemed very genuine and real. Loved it.

    Funny, heart-warming, and perfectly captured the time-period. The characters seemed very genuine and real. Loved it.

  • Jan 14, 2020

    Well done! Reminds me of my crazy Italian family and our Christmas Eve! The food, music, casting ,location and the list goes on was spot on!!! We thoroughly enjoyed everything about this movie!

    Well done! Reminds me of my crazy Italian family and our Christmas Eve! The food, music, casting ,location and the list goes on was spot on!!! We thoroughly enjoyed everything about this movie!