Sunday, April 13, 2014

Movie Review ... Chef


hr_Chef_1Everyone loves food.  We can’t live without it and have our own culinary vices.  No wonder television cooking shows have been so enduringly popular.  Leading to the rise of ‘celebrity chefs’ these shows display people’s foibles as they create a delicious dish.  ‘Chef’ explores how someone uses social media to re-discover his gastronomic passion.  Often as light as a fluffy soufflé, it’s a charming confection of redemption and tasty cuisine.

Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) is a respected chef adored in the food world.  Whilst having an artistic temperament, his abilities usually escape criticism.  When a famed food critic dares to give a bad review, all bets are off.  Beginning a war of words, Casper soon becomes disillusioned with his profession.  Deciding to begin a mobile food business with ex-wife Inez (Sofia Vergara) and son Percy (Emjay Anthony), he is forced to confront his past and re-claim his desired golden future.

Written and directed by star Jon Favreau, ‘Chef’ marks a departure to his recent output.  Known for directing big-budget blockbusters, ‘Chef’s’ smaller canvas seems more suited to his skills.  He tells a simple tale of a person trapped by his own ego and finding a way to break free.  Only then can he re-establish broken bonds and creative passions.  Favreau provides a light touch as he spins these elements in a comedy/drama with some genuine laughs. 

Whilst the narrative becomes occasionally repetitive, its charming affability shines through.  Carl’s relationship with his son is its main focus with the performers bringing genuine believability to their tentative relationship.  Adding to ‘Chef’s overall pleasantness is the cinematography which successfully conjures the flavour of each city the food truck passes.  The characters they meet aid their understanding of each other and of the once enclosed existence they led.

‘Chef’ isn’t particularly memorable but it has much authenticity and soft humour.  Apart from potentially making viewers hungry, the delights it offers may inspire some to dabble in the kitchen in search of fine food and delectable moments.

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Movie Review Rating out of 10:  6

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.


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