Friday, July 06, 2007


I watch a lot of movies. A lot. I gots me a bunch o' movie channels with my cable package, and my, do I make great use of them. Thing is, this has made me into a very lazy first-run, get out of the house and into a movie theatre movie watcher.

A film has to make me madly excited to actually want to make the effort to see it when it first comes out. And so far, this summer, Ratatouille is the only film that has made me want to sit in a dark room with overly talkative strangers.

I made use of today's corporate holiday to take myself out to the movies, and dammit, am I glad I did. On paper, Ratatouille seemed like a film that was made for me to adore. A kitchen based on five star restaurants in Paris? Check. Dishes based on the time animators spent interning in Thomas Keller's (who has a bit-part as a restaurant patron in the North American version) French Laundry? Check. A witty, talking rat who wants to be more then he is told that he can be, with an overwhelming love of food? Dammit, check!

Yes, Ratatouille is a Disney / Pixar production. It is also one of the most well written films, catering not to babyish and cloyingly sweet dialogue, but in passionate belief and love of embracing your own talent to succeed.

I think I really fell in love with this movie when Colette, one of the chef's in the restaurant's kitchen, lays out the truth of what being a woman in the culinary world is like, as well as the truths of the kitchen - including the importance of a clean workstation, and how to properly hold your arms when cooking. It's smart - a real and true rarity in widely released films these days.

Writing aside, it's also an amazing, beautiful piece of artwork to watch. At times, I forgot that I was seeing something that was animated - the movement of fur, the reflective metallic surfaces of the pots and pans, the emotive facial expressions...I could go on - but watch the trailer for yourself, and you'll see what I mean!

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