Directed by Jon Favreau
When Chef Carl Casper suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner, he is left to figure out what's next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife, his friend and his son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen -- and zest for life and love.
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★★★★ review by DirkH on Letterboxd
Feel good food porn.
I feel good.
I am hungry as hell.
And am a little bit horny.
I feel tickled in all the right places.
★★★★½ review by LeSchroeck on Letterboxd
Ich hab Hunger, Tränen in den Augen, ein Lächeln im Gesicht... und tatsächlich für diesen kleinen Herzensfilm mein erstes Letterboxd-Review verfasst.
★★★★½ review by Ryan Francis on Letterboxd
It may have been just what I needed on this day, or even in this particular chapter of my life - I'm still not quite sure - but Jon Favreau's Chef was a very pleasant surprise and a wonderful, unexpectedly profound little experience of a film. I thought it was pretty damn near-perfect for what it is.
★★★★½ review by Austin Gorski on Letterboxd
Jon Favreau's tasty little indie gives Hollywood the middle finger with its delicious Cuban sandwiches. I probably shouldn't like it as much as I do, but I can't help it. I just had so much fun with this movie.
And I wish John Leguizamo was my friend. He seems like such a cool dude.
★★★★ review by SilentDawn on Letterboxd
Delectable, soulful, and bursting with a sense of livelihood and passion; Jon Favreau's Chef is an independent triumph that simultaneously tells a gorgeous and emotionally investing story, one that parallels Favreau's filmography as well as commenting on the current interconnections of the modern world.
The story is all about Carl Casper (Jon Favreau), a chef working in a high-end restaurant that is held up by regulars that enjoy Casper's original recipes. After a ravenous review from an important food critic, Casper is unsure whether to stay with his job or to go towards following his heart. Eventually, Casper leaves his position, going on a journey to find the core of what he loves.
The cast in Chef is brilliant and perfectly cast in every aspect. From Jon Favreau's terrific leading performance to supporting players such as John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, and Sofia Vergara; every character is deeply felt and lively in their approach. The main relationship between Casper and his son, played by Emjay Anthony, is beautifully simple and essential to bringing out the smaller details of every line and gesture in Chef. As a whole, Favreau's film is simple in all the right ways. More meticulous and minute sheds of light are constant throughout the seemingly-short 114 runtime, but the core of the film is sweet and flavorful.
As if a wonderful story wasn't enough, the writing and directing by Jon Favreau (what else can this guy do?) is an important addition to completing the funky rhythms that this film so thoroughly possesses. Combined with the seamless editing and the kinetic blasts of Latin American music, the film is a rollicking and savory (these food puns are unstoppable) trip through food culture. The food in this is unbelievable, and watching it on an empty stomach is borderline torturous. Favreau lingers on the food in a seductive and hypnotic, bringing new meaning to the phrase 'food porn'.
It's also fascinating to watch how personal Chef is both to its creator and its audience. All the use of social media in the film is surprisingly endearing in spite of its unsubtle usage, as it adds another layer to the character of Casper and his motivation. It also is a break for Jon Favreau in terms of his film-making, and it is obviously similar to how unhappy he was during his commercial outings in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Seeing him craft something so pleasant and lovely is incredible, and you can immediately feel the gleeful prowess that comes from getting back to what means the most to you.
Chef simply is a happy movie. It makes you happy, It feels happy, the story is happy, the ending is happy, the direction makes you happy, the characters make you happy. By the end, all you want to do is starting cooking and watch it all over again. It's a little movie that is as mouthwatering as it is heartwarming.
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