Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief smoking
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:Brief smoking, social drinking
Violence/Scariness:References to aging and environmental damage
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:March 9, 2012
DVD Release Date:July 23, 2012
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief smoking
Profanity: None
Nudity/Sex: None
Alcohol/Drugs: Brief smoking, social drinking
Violence/Scariness: References to aging and environmental damage
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Movie Release Date: March 9, 2012
DVD Release Date: July 23, 2012

The Michelin Guide to restaurants describes the best as “worth a detour” or “worth a special journey.”  They describe a tiny ten-seat sushi restaurant in Tokyo as worth the trip to Japan.  If you want to eat there, call before you book your plane tickets.  They are booked three months in advance for meals that can cost $300 per diner.  This documentary is about Jiro Ono the owner of the restaurant and its chef, who has devoted his life to perfecting the art of sushi.  Director/cinematographer David Gelb makes the sushi look utterly luscious but he also makes it look exquisite as sculpture.

Advertisement

YouTube Preview Image

The movie is fascinating because of the details we learn about sushi and the dedication and artistry of the man who has devoted his life to it.  Jiro-San’s attention to every possible detail from buying the freshest and best ingredients each day at the market to the balletic gestures in assembling each piece and placing it before the customer is mesmerizing.  There is a holiness in his devotion to perfection as a way of honoring the food he prepares and the people who eat it.  Apprentices must work just squeezing the towels for a long time before they are allowed to touch any food and for years before what they prepare is considered suitable for the customers.  And they constantly re-consider their preparation to look for ways to improve it.  Jiro-San announces a major change he has implemented — instead of massaging the octopus for half an hour, they will massage it for 45 minutes.  We also see Jiro-San with his son, who works in the restaurant (another son runs an off-shoot location).  And we see him in a rare moment away from work, at a reunion with old friends.

Advertisement

Sushi was once seen as a rare treat for wealthy people on special occasions.  But the success of chefs like Jiro-San has made sushi so popular that it is at risk from over-fishing.  The film touches lightly but frankly on these problems.  But the movie’s larger point is not about sushi or about sustainability but about the poetry and depth that come from devoting one’s life to the pursuit of perfection in the service of others.

Previous Posts

Grandma
Lily Tomlin is cranky, feisty, tough, and utterly irresistible in this story of a grandmother who has to visit past decisions about her own life in order ...

posted 5:50:55pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

We Are Your Friends
Director Max Joseph brings some of the "Catfish" sensibility to "We Are Your Friends," with an intimate, documentary feel and a storyline ...

posted 5:35:22pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Being Evel
Evel Knievel was an international celebrity in the 1960's-70's, known for three things: showmanship, stunts that succeeded, and stunts that failed. He was recognized for jumping over 19 cars in his motorcycle, for crash-landing after trying to ...

posted 5:13:51pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Rosenwald
Aviva Kempner, the director of the acclaimed documentaries about baseball star Hank Greenberg and television pioneer Gertrude Berg, has a new film about early 20th century Chicago businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. Like the prior ...

posted 12:10:06pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Possibly the Greatest Pairing Since Lennon and McCartney: Lawrence and Shumer
Jennifer Lawrence told the New York Times that she and Amy Schumer are writing a screenplay together! It's about two sisters, to be played by Lawrence and Schumer themselves. “Amy and I were creatively made for each other. We have ...

posted 10:49:12pm Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.