Jiro Dreams of Sushi – Documentary Recommendation

Recently my friend Tom, a fellow foodie, recommended a documentary that he considers a “must see”.  It’s on Netflix right now and sounded interesting so I poured a glass of wine and queued it up. If you’ve followed my blog you know that I’ve made very few movie recommendations over the last four years, only doing so when it’s one that has inspired me to share.

Released in 2012, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the fascinating, joyful story of Jiro Ono an 85 year old Sushi Master and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a Michelin three-star restaurant. Sukiyabashi Jiro is a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station. Jiro Ono serves a tasting menu of roughly 20 courses, for a minimum of 30,000 Japanese yen ($281 USD). with a well deserved reputation of creating the best sushi in the world.  And his is the only Michelin star recipient whose restaurant doesn’t have its own restroom (though you can use one in the subway).*

The movie is sub-titled which is worth mentioning though it does nothing to detract from the fascinating and mesmerizing story.  I was enthralled by the artistry and mouth-watering sushi but Jiro is the star here.  His life story is incredible and his passion for his craft is inspiring.  The old saying that “when you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life” has never seemed more accurate.  

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The movie is a feast for the eyes and a story that will stay with you long after you’ve seen it. Suffice it to say that this blogger feels compelled to share her recommendation that you make a point of watching this documentary.

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If you need more Jiro, check out YouTube as there are many short clips worth seeing.

* Some content is from Wikipedia with photos from Pinterest. 

A Street Cat Named Bob – the movie

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Last year I discovered the most amazing true story of a cat named Bob who saved the life of the man he adopted. The book by James Bowen, made the New York Times bestseller list, was on the bestseller list in England for 52 consecutive weeks and is currently being published in 30 different countries around the world. An incredible story of redemption it explores the bond between a man down on his luck and the cat who found him.  Truly heartwarming it’s a must-read for every cat lover and frankly, everyone else.  One of my all-time favorite books, I blogged about the story last year A Street Cat Named Bob.

At that time, I’d learned a movie was being made and the cat playing Bob was none other than Bob himself.

The Movie

I started following A Street Cat Named Bob on Facebook. Anxiously awaiting the film’s US release date, I planned to see it on opening day – November 18th, 2016.  I’d asked my Mom to go, then looked up showtimes.  I couldn’t find it at any theater yet Facebook posts were announcing it’s release.  “What’s happening?” I thought.

Digging deeper, I found out what countless other had discovered – the movie was opening in only a few select locations around the US – and none were near me.  I was crushed, my hopes dashed.  I logged into Amazon to see if I could pre-order the DVD and set my Watchlist for any news of a streaming release. Then, as we must do as adults, I let it go with the knowledge that I would see it….someday.

Finally, a few weeks ago whilst in the grip of the flu a moment of happiness came my way when I found I could finally stream the movie via Amazon Video. I felt better already.

I gathered Tipper and Biscotti, a pile of pillows and blankets and we settled in on the sofa to watch this long anticipated movie.  It was everything I/we hoped. A beautiful ginger, Bob is not only an incredible feline but is an excellent actor as were the supporting players (after all, clearly Bob was the “star”).

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If you haven’t read the book, I recommend doing so then seeing the movie.

Don’t we all need stories that leave us feeling happy, warm and fuzzy these days? 😸

Lion, the movie I’m recommending

Recently my lifetime BFF and I did a girl’s day out including a movie that I knew little about.  I’d only caught a few minutes of the Golden Globes (including Meryl Streep’s speech – awesome) and saw Dev Patel introducing the clip of his movie “Lion” up for Best Movie.  I remember thinking how I loved him in “Slumdog Millionaire” and was intrigued by this new movie.  So when my wise BFF suggested this film, I was in.

Accidentally separated from his family as a child, Saroo Brierley returns to India 25 years later to find them. (IMDb)

The movie based on an incredible true story, is both riveting and heartbreaking, the acting superb. The audience seemed enthralled; as the credits rolled no one moved to leave. It was overwhelming in the best possible way and an unforgettable story of love, loss and family.  If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to do so.

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Worth Watching

I haven’t posted recommendations of movies in quite awhile. Spence and I frequently come away from the video store discouraged by the few good films being made and end up binge-watching TV shows via Netflix and HBO Now. I believe we aren’t alone. These two movies are well written, cast with truly talented actors and left us feeling entertained and happy for the time spent watching.

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Starring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake and John Goodman, “Trouble with the Curve” was watched on Father’s Day weekend, apopro with Amy Adams playing Clint Eastwood’s daughter.  The story had humor, family conflict and lots of heart interspersed with baseball.  As Clint Eastwood gets older, he just gets better and the story was one that stayed with us days later.  (2012)

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“Danny Collins” stars Al Pacino in the title role as an aging rock star. With Christopher Plummer as his long-time manager, Jennifer Garner, Annette Bening and Bobby Canavale round out a cast that must have been a director’s dream.  The story was at times funny and touching taking interesting twists that made it unpredictable.  It is a story loosely based on a real-life folk singer, Steve Tilston which you learn when the credits roll adding another depth to the film.  (2015)

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I’m a believer in recommending movies without recapping storylines as I personally hate when people give away too much.  For more info, simply Google these movies.