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Review of "CHEF"
By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014 Revised 14th May 2014 Revised 2nd January 2015
REVIEW: "CHEF" by Jayne Waterford

After being central to some of the largest, cinematic projects in recent history, Jon Favreau finds himself catapulted into producing and directing and starring as his own creation, a man who lives as a "CHEF".

Jon Favreau (Carl Casper, Director, Writer, and Producer), Emjay Anthony (Percy), John Leguizamo (Martin), Dustin Hoffman (Riva), Scarlett Johansson (Molly), Sofia Vegara (Inez), Oliver Platt (Ramsey Michel) and Robert Downey Jnr. (Marvin) are all in Jon Farveau's "CHEF" (2014).

I love Oliver Platt. I've had a big fat crush since his pig fat merchant from Genoa in Lasse Hallström's "CASONOVA" (2005). He is a perfect restaurant critic.

Robert Downey Jnr. gives us a unique character, Marvin. Someone who's a little over-wrought, a little distressed, a little crazy, a little on the edge of drug-induced, psychotic breakdown... and all in the context of Inez's ex-husband. He was excellent.

Scarlett "Why don't you come home dad?" Johansson as Molly, the wise, fellow employee who seems to be having a thing with Carl, also gives us something new. Something we haven't seen before.

Restaurant owner Riva, played by the great Dustin

Hoffman also provides a channelled experience of a man with a very focused role to play.

Jon Favreau "CHEF" (2014) is realised with a frantic authenticity. One gets the impression that Chef Carl Casper (Favreau) transmuted the pressure of expectation under the weight of such an enormous cast and good will into frizz, a kind of fried unhappiness that rounds out into complete fulfilment suddenly, at the end. He goes on the journey of a wonderful script (Writer: Jon Favreau). Carl and Percy face real relationship dilemmas. Percy really is bullied by Carl's single-mindedness. Carl wins back the girl, but it's mostly realised in Sofia Vegara's evocation of sunshine.

One gets the feeling of a rushed quality in the execution of scenes. Especially when Martin and Carl are going for camaraderie in the truck. These scenes seem to be underscored by a low level of anxiety. The rush is wholly absent in other sequences.

But stay tuned. This guy is big. Look who is in his film? John Leguizamo (Martin), Dustin Hoffman (Riva), Scarlett Johansson (Molly), Sofia Vegara (Inez), Oliver Platt (Ramsey Michel) and Robert Downey Jnr. (Marvin)... The cast is an enormous achievement in and of itself. Jon Favreau has stature.
Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

Jon Farveau's "CHEF" (2014)
Starting from scratch never tasted so good.
Writer, Director & Star Jon Farveau
Producers Sergei Bespalov
Stars Jon Favreau (Carl Casper, Director, Writer, and Producer), John Leguizamo (Martin), Dustin Hoffman (Riva), Scarlett Johansson (Molly), Sofia Vegara (Inez), Oliver Platt (Ramsey Michel) and Robert Downey Jnr (Marvin)
Release Date 8th May 2014
Category Comedy
Running Time 115 minutes (1 hour, 55 minutes)
Rating M
Origin USA, all over.
Awards
Coda Yes. Documentary footage of foodie Roy Choi showing Farveau how a chef toasts a sandwich.

Distributor STUDIOCANAL DISTRIBUTION
Official Blurb "This is just a quick note to let you know CHEF, written, directed and starring Jon Farveau (ELF, THE BREAK-UP, IRON MAN and IRON MAN 2) releases in cinemas on 8 May.

CHEF follows the temperamental Carl Casper

(Favreau), a prestigious name in the world of food who falls from grace and ends up starting his own food truck to recapture his flair, integrity and reconnect with his family. Casper was once a promising star in the culinary world, whose artistic aptitude has long been restrained by an overbearing restaurant proprietor. With his passion for cooking wilting, Carl’s career takes a turn for the worse, when a prominent food critic Ramsay Michel (Hoffman) targets the uninspired Chef with a provocative review. Outraged by his comments, Carl takes to twitter and goes head to head with Ramsay in an online battle, which he unknowingly broadcasts to thousands of followers.

Disillusioned with his career and desperate to escape the social media circus that he inadvertently created, Carl agrees to accompany his ex-wife Inez (Vergara) and son to Miami. As his passion for cooking reignites, an opportunity to start up a food truck business presents itself and Carl begins to re-establish his artistic promise and at the same time, reconnect with his family. With an all-star cast including Jon Favreau, Dustin Hoffman, Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vegara and Robert Downey Jnr, CHEF serves up a delectable feast of drama and laughs." - STUDIOCANAL DISTRIBUTION PR

In the director's chair director: Jon Farveau in Jon Farveau's "CHEF" (2014).
© Merrick Morton
Tony (Bobby Cannavale) takes over Carl's mantle as professionally unsatisfied in Jon Farveau's "CHEF" (2014).
Jon Favreau (Carl Casper, Director, Writer, and Producer), Emjay Anthony (Percy) & Sofia Vegara (Inez) are the core family group and what a cast! in Jon Farveau's "CHEF" (2014).
Jon Favreau (Carl Casper, Director, Writer, and Producer) & John Leguizamo (Martin) begin their new venture in food in Miami.