Saturday, August 16, 2014

On the Road with El Jefe

Seeing the film Chef reminded me of why I like movies so much.  The experience of leaving the movie theater in a better mood than when you entered is so worth the price of admission.  Remember that feeling you had when you saw Swingers and discovered you were so money and didn’t even know it?  Well writer, director, and actor Jon Favreau has done it again in this movie.  Favereau plays Carl, a Los Angeles chef who has lost his mojo, so to speak.  When an angry confrontation with a food critic goes viral over the internets, Carl loses his safe restaurant job and must find a way to start again.  He ends up buying an old food truck, refurbishing it, and embarking on a cross-country trip that allows him to reconnect to his 10 year-old son and  to his love of cooking.  Hollywood should take note that you don’t need superheroes and CGI to make a good movie.  What you need is HEART, as well as a good story and good performances.  And Chef has HEART in spades.  Although a relatively small movie, it’s also big on star power: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey, Jr., Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Bobby Cannavale, and Oliver Platt.  The music is excellent too.  [Look out for a performance by blues musician Gary Clark, Jr.] And if you’re a foodie or just like to eat, you’ll be in heaven.  So treat yo’self to Chef and be sure to sit through the credits. [Update:  This indie gem is getting a nationwide re-release over Labor Day weekend, so get you some!]

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