Jamie Neish: Favreau cooks up a treat in Chef

Jon Favreau in Chef. Pic: PA
Jon Favreau in Chef. Pic: PA
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IT’S difficult these days for a film to be original, even more so in a landscape that seems so obsessed with sequels, prequels and remakes (How to Train Your Dragon 2 is also out this weekend, although that’s actually very good).

So when a film like Chef comes along, it does so in a way that feels like a breath of fresh air. The fact that director Jon Favreau’s return to independent filmmaking is an infectious entertaining comedy is the icing on the array of mouth-watering food on display.

The film itself tells the story of Carl Casper (Favreau), a skilled chef who’s forced to quit his restaurant role after a spat with his boss. (See review, left.)

Chef is a crowd-pleaser from start to finish. It’s a film that wears its heart firmly on its sleeve (a large chunk of it is devoted to the slow maturation of the father-son relationship at its heart), but also one that’s funny, smart and filled with a vibrancy and warmth that’s irresistible.

The performances are full of character. Each role plays a key part, right down to the cameos from the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson. The visuals, too, which simply ooze from the screen, are spot-on and, combined with a lively soundtrack, make for the film’s two most winsome elements.

To say anymore would be to spoil the treat. With Edinburgh’s film marketplace already so crowded, not only by the other cinema releases on offer, but also by the ongoing Edinburgh International Film Festival, audiences are spoilt for choice.

But if there’s one film that’s guaranteed to put a gigantic smile on your face and tickle your tastebuds in equal measure, it’s Chef.

And for a summer afternoon at the cinema, that’s exactly what you want.

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