Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"Chef", an understated exceptional film

This film seemed attractive when it was first released in the spring of this year but it was missed here.  We saw it last night in the comfort of home and it was a perfect Thanksgiving eve treat.

There is something really attractive about a film with, one, great music, Latin, Texas blues, New Orleans Neville style, and much more, and two, great regional food, Cuban, New Orleans, Texas BBQ and more street food.  As the film moves along from a bumpy start for the major characters at first to a life validating road trip in the second half that untangles all of the relationships in a pleasant way, it is a classic American film.  It has humor to offset the less upbeat moments and loving moments to offset the mistakes made.  All in all this is not a credible story, and it does not need to be.  That is not the point.

If a viewer is looking for some sort of major messages of the literate or revelatory type, it is not be be found here.  If one has the view that music, food, and conviviality have their own soulful messages there is plenty in this film to satisfy.  It was written, directed, and starred in by Jon Favreau who seems to be one of the busiest and most creative people in Hollywood these days.  From the mega-budget films Iron Man 1 and Iron Man 2, which Favreau directed, to this low budget, relatively quickly created small wonder is an unusual accomplishment.

The film is also stocked with name players in roles of various sizes including Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., John Leguizamo, and others that I can't remember or spell, so it  has both major role and cameo star appeal like some of those late 50's and early 60's Hollywood films.  One could guess that speaks to Favreau's stature in that town now.  It seems to be well deserved.

By the way, the point is good and fully diverting entertainment.



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