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

Dr. Martin Luther King's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
This week's release, "Selma," begins with the ceremony honoring The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King with the Nobel Peace Prize. Here is the real footage of his famous speech. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/5r98tT0j1a0?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 12:00:34pm Dec. 22, 2014 | read full post »

A Child's Christmas in Wales
The whole family will enjoy this beautiful version of Dylan Thomas' classic memory about his family Christmases in Wales. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GrLDaAG7j_o?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:23am Dec. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Pride
The ingredients for this film were so irresistible that it is a unexpected bonus to find that it is so much better than it needed to be. It's based on a true story of extraordinary kindness, generosity, and friendship and it stars a bunch of adorable English actors (Imelda Staunton, Bill Nighy) w

posted 6:00:25am Dec. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Ava DuVernay of "Selma"
My favorite movie of the year is "Selma," the story of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital, Montgomery, to bring attention to the barriers the

posted 9:41:45pm Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Smile of the Week: A Boy and a Penguin
This reminds me a little of the depiction of a child's world in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes and Barnaby. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iccscUFY860[/youtube] Many thanks to Slate for this and the others on its list of the year's best ads.

posted 12:06:45pm Dec. 21, 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.