>> Thursday, February 7, 2008

I realized a few minutes into this that it was quite appropriate for me to watch this tonight--Chinese New Year, Year of the Rat! I really liked this! It was a lot longer than I expected, almost two hours! I thought that may have been a misprint on the disc sleeve but apparently not.

I was surprised to see who voiced the critic, Anton Ego (never was a critic so aptly named). I couldn't place the voice with the person, but it sounded so familiar. The way he was designed reminded me of Clopin from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I would never have guessed that it was Peter O'Toole.

How do they think of these stories? And keep them going? I noticed that it was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, a very deserving nomination. The short speech at the end about critics is right on! I totally agree even though I enjoy hacking certain things to pieces verbally.

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.


Janel 08 February, 2008 13:36  

Nice post. I need to see that.

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