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MOVIE REVIEW - Chef

on 04 June 2014.

Here comes a big helping of refreshing, along with a side of pure, and a pinch of great, all served up by a Chef that knows what he's doing. This is a comedy, and a drama. But what it is above all is great!

Chef is a new John Favreau movie that also boasts a real nice supporting cast, that is the years best movie so far.   Never mind that this also stars Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr, Sophia Vegara, John Leguizamo, Dustin Hoffman, and Oliver Platt.  Honestly, none of them makes any real difference. The star of this movie is...the movie.

Chef is a little movie in very limited release that is the story of a Chef named Carl Casper (Favreau) and his very dysfunctional life in Los Angeles.  He is very talented, with an enormous ego and works at a high end restaurant in LA owned by Riva (Hoffman).  After a horrible review of his menu on a HUGE food website, he falls off the deep end and confronts the critic (Platt) in public and the whole entire ugly (but funny) meltdown is captured on video and goes viral on the Internet. All the while unintentionally starting a Twitter war with him in public, and Carl finds himself out of a job.  Carl has been a bit absent in the world the past few years and needs to catch up.

His life is a disaster, as he is divorced from his wife, (Vegara) and is an absentee father to his 10--year old son, Percy.  But now, he has to go back to the beginning and somehow find his new life. And he does, going back to find his passion for cooking and making people happy, by buying a food truck of all things from his ex-wife's, ex husband (Downey Jr.) on a trip to Miami.  So with the help of one of his ex-chef partners (Leguizamo),  and Percy, they trek back across country in the truck, stopping along the way to serve Cuban sandwiches, and Carl reconnects all the dots that he had let become disconnected all these years. All the while not knowing he is doing it.



This movie is so good, it could be the best movie of this year, or any year.  Chef uses food and cooking as the backdrop of a man's life that has fallen apart unbeknownst to himself through self-indulgence and personal drive.  You get to see so much amazing food in this movie, don't go hungry.  But what you really see is a character driven movie that is amazingly pure in an era of movie making that isn't.  With the theaters jammed up with Godzilla, X-Men and countless others that are cartoons, animated, or computer generated loud fests, Chef is why you go to the movies. A brilliant story you've never seen told this way before, with a great cast, written, filmed and directed beautifully. 

It has been a long time since there has been a small movie this good in theaters.  This little movie may get lost as it is a strange time to release a flick like this, with the box office so driven over the summer by over the top movies, but try to find this and go to it. This will certainly and without fail be mentioned in major award  shows later this year and early next. It's that good.

Chef.  Absolutely fantastic!

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