DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

 
JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI (director/writer: David Gelb; cinematographer: David Gelb; editor: Brandon Driscoll-Luttringer; cast: Jiro Ono, Yoshikazu Ono, akashi Ono, Yamamoto Masuhiro; Runtime: 82; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Tom Pelligrini/Kevin Iwashina; Magnolia Pictures; 2012)

"The no-nonsense documentary about a compulsive sushi chef wet my appetite even though I never liked sushi and wasn't tempted by the beautiful looking dishes prepared to give it another try."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz 

David Gelb directs, in his feature film debut, this absorbing documentary about the 85-year-old Jiro Ono, a Tokyo based sushi chef whose 10-seat Tokyo restaurant received a three star rating from Michelin making him the oldest to get such a rating. The no-nonsense documentary about a compulsive sushi chef wet my appetite even though I never liked sushi and wasn't tempted by the beautiful looking dishes prepared to give it another try.

The master chef tells us the key to success is devote your life to mastering your career skill and be relentless at pursuing excellence.

Jiro recalls he was a bad student in school and did not enjoy a happy childhood. He tells of how at an early age he knew his mission in life would be as a sushi chef and worked hard to master that skill. Over the years his small restaurant earned a rep as the best sushi restaurant in the world. The stern-faced serious chef enjoys telling us he was driven to make the best sushi possible and do it consistently. His oldest 50-year-old son Yoshikazu is second-in-command in the original restaurant, while his younger son Takashi has opened on his own a second restaurant in another location.

Restaurant critic Yamamoto Masuhiro is a good guide in filling us in on the details that make Jiro so exceptional in his chosen field and conveys to us that by being so self-critical, so demanding for perfection and so self-disciplined the engaging chef stands alone at the top of the mountain in his field.

Though there's nothing fancy about the documentary. like Jiro's restaurant,, it was nevertheless quite tasty. There are many appetizing closeups of Jiro's creations, a few trips to the fish market and scenes of appreciative diners enjoying their meal. Enough is covered to leave the viewer's hunger sated for knowledge about what makes a sushi chef great. The film's only glaring flaw was that it dragged at times over material repeated.

REVIEWED ON 11/23/2012       GRADE: B+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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