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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Jiro Dreams of Sushi » User review

Doesn't change my thoughts on sushi; still manages to make it look tasty.

  • Sep 16, 2012
*** out of ****

I have a love-hate relationship with seafood. I don't like to say that I like it because that usually implies that I enjoy the taste of fish - obviously a top item - whilst I do not, but at the same time I know for a fact I don't hate it. I enjoy shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, and all kinds of other stuff. So given that I don't like fish, I've never liked sushi much either. Granted, I haven't been thrust into a situation where I'd have the option of sampling it often but it's happened before and I'm glad I know what I like and what I don't food-wise. But whether I actually like the food or not does not matter when it comes to the simple but mesmerizing documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi"; which is likely to charm the pants off of just about anyone, even those who don't like the food that's constantly being prepared and talked about.

Jiro Ono is the subject of documentarian David Gelb's film. He is the 85-year-old owner of a 3-star sushi restaurant named Sukiyabashi Jiro. His most loyal customers speak fondly of him and his food, claiming that he rightfully deserves all three of those stars. Jiro operates with a few young apprentices and his assistant chef, his oldest son. Jiro's younger son could not succeed his father since that is the duty of the eldest (male) child, but nonetheless followed in his footsteps and opened up his own restaurant in Roppongi Hills that is very identical to dad's. Between taking us step-by-step through his every day professional process, Jiro reflects on not only his career but his life; raising his boys and keeping his own existence in check.

We hear Jiro talk about not really being there for his sons when they were younger. He was constantly getting up early and coming home too late for them to ever really see him; it was to the point where one time when they finally were awake to see him at home, one of the boys asked who the strange man living in their house was. Jiro is not a tortured soul, he maintains rather healthy, sociable relationships with both sons; but his job probably matters more to him than any interactions with other human beings. He dislikes time taken off from work, such as the holidays, because there is nothing he would rather do than make sushi. Absolutely nothing.

Sometimes, a film can find its energy and impact through simplicity. This one certainly does. This is not a complex documentary and it doesn't require you to know anything about the topics covered, but it sucks you in with its modesty and overall attitude, which is light-hearted without being arrogant. As a documentary, you could say it's forgettable but you could not by any means also say it's no good. It's pleasant, thoroughly entertaining, and compelling in its own little way(s). The food in particular looks delicious, and Jiro is an interesting man to watch, especially when exercising his craft. Most men like this, dreamers and craftsman alike, tend to be.

It's just about impossible to resist "Jiro Dreams of Sushi". Do not expect it to break new ground or blow you away. What it does is engage the senses for about an hour and twenty minutes; nothing more. It's is well-made, well-told, and is fascinating without being, if you may, overly sophisticated. It's a nice film if you just want to sit down and enjoy yourself. It's not thoughtless, but it's constantly in a tranquil state and in that sense is sort of meditative. They said that three stars was the only adequate rating for Jiro's restaurant, and I also think it's the only adequate rating for the film that he has inspired. But sometimes three stars are more than enough. Come in hungry; leave fulfilled. It's really that simple.

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More Jiro Dreams of Sushi reviews
review by . May 02, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Should one gently massage an octopus for 30 minutes or for 45 minutes?
Jiro Ono is 85 years old. He owns a small sushi restaurant in downtown Tokyo. It’s located in the lower level of a sleek office building next to a subway station. The restaurant seats only 10 customers at a counter. There are no tables and no waiting area. Mr. Ono does not serve appetizers, deserts or liquor. His customers are expected to be on time, not early and certainly not late. They are warmly greeted and seated at the counter. Typically, each receives 20 pieces of sushi, each different, …
review by . July 22, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI   Directed by David Gelb      Everything you need to know about Jiro Ono, the subject of the new documentary, JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI, is right there in the title. The man literally dreams of new ways to perfect one of the world’s greatest delicacies. He has dedicated nearly his entire life to the art and craft of sushi making and I don’t say this lightly. After being cast out of his home at the age of 10, in some form of parental lesson …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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