Food in Movies

Chef, The Movie: 5 Things We Loved, 5 Things We Hated

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Mon, May 12, 2014 at 7:36 AM

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5. Technology
In the same way that the television show Sherlock kind of revolutionized the way audiences experience on-screen text messages, Chef has revolutionized the on-screen Twitter experience. Technology is used well in this movie in general, and the experience of conceiving of, considering and sending a Tweet is particularly clever. 

4. Casting
This is a movie that is just incredibly well-cast, from Favreau on down. The kid who plays Favreau's son, Percy, Emjay Anthon, is pretty fantastic and believable. There are delightful bit-part cameos from Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman and Scarlett Johansson, proving that great acting makes a vast difference no matter how small the part. And John Leguizamo does line cooks everywhere proud.

3. Chef/Owner Relationship
The relationship between restaurant chef and restaurant owner is fairly unknown to the public, and it's a huge factor in what you see on the plate in any non - chef-owned restaurant. Dustin Hoffman, playing the owner, is appropriately clueless, and if this movie does anything to illuminate the frustrations of a creative profession that is often ruled by forces out of the creator's hands, that's a good thing. 

2. Food Porn
There's no denying that the cooking scenes are a pure joy to watch, particularly for anyone who sees knife skills as a superpower of sorts. L.A. chef Roy Choi's producing/consulting work on the project has been much ballyhooed, and the touch of a real chef is certainly apparent. 

1. Relationships
Beyond even the knife skills and food fights, the depiction that struck us as the most real (and usually unexplored, unlike other aspects of chef life) is the relationship between Favreau's character, Casper, and his son, Percy. Sure, the neatly tied-up happy ending perhaps glosses over the issues of fatherhood and kitchen life, but the fact that it can be very difficult for chefs to maintain family relationships or have the time to be good fathers is depicted honestly and touchingly for most of the movie. 

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