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

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.

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.

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

The Other Woman
The latest in a female-centered revenge comedy genre that extends from "9 to 5" through "She-Devil," "The Other Woman" is intended to be a merry little tale of female empowerment and grrrl power.  Instead it is soggy, haphazard, poorly paced slapstick mansplained by director Nick Cassavetes from a

posted 6:00:59pm Apr. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Finding Vivian Maier
Vivian Maier was a Chicago-area nanny.  Only the children in her care knew how much she loved taking pictures.  After her death, the possessions she had in storage were auctioned off and a man named John Maloof bought some boxes of negatives, thinking he might finds some images for his research ab

posted 6:00:24pm Apr. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Walking With the Enemy
Why do we keep making movies about the Holocaust? Because we are still trying to understand one of the most shocking, inhumane tragedies in history. Because it is the essence of heightened, dramatic storylines, with the most depraved real-life villains, the bravest heroes, and the direst moral di

posted 6:00:01pm Apr. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Ebertfest Kicks Off With "Life Itself"
Steve James ("Hoop Dreams") presented "Life Itself," the documentary about Roger Ebert, last night at the majestic Virginia Theater in Roger's home town of Urbana, Illinois, where Roger watched films as a boy and as a college student at the University of Illinois.  He told us he had always thought

posted 9:28:24am Apr. 24, 2014 | read full post »

Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz stars in the revenge comedy, "The Other Woman" this week, so it is a good time to look back at some of the highlights of her remarkably varied career. Director Charles Russell said he wanted to give Diaz the full movie star glamor treatment in her first feature film appearance in "Th

posted 8:00:04am Apr. 24, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.