Director David Gelb takes us into a Tokyo sushi restaurant, and finds an artist at work in "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," a thoughtful and gently handled documentary about food, family and perfection.
Jiro Ono, at 85, is considered one of the world's greatest sushi chefs holder of a Michelin Guide three-star rating for his delicate, deceptively simple combinations of fish and rice. Gelb shows us the difficulty of creating such edible treasures the hours marinating the tuna, the full hour an apprentice must massage a squid to make it tender enough to eat, and so on, or the 10 years an apprentice must wait before being allowed to make Jiro's grilled egg-custard dish.
Jiro imparts his philosophy, and there's a fascinating look at his two sons, one who works for his father and one who broke away to start his own sushi bar. The centerpiece is a gorgeously photographed sequence showing a dinner at Jiro's restaurant, a "concerto" of the many courses (all sushi, no appetizers) that will make any foodie's mouth water.