Jiro Ono is a man with amazing talent and dedication. His sushi bar in Tokyo has three Michelin stars. He’s 85 years old and still going strong.
This movie is a “must see” for chefs and foodies. You will be impressed by the intense labor that goes into sourcing and preparation of what, when plated, appears to be simple food.
Fans of Japanese culture will love JDOS because we get a look at real Japanese people in their real lives. The film, directed by American David Gelb, is in Japanese with subtitles.
The movie, like the sushi, is presented simply. We see the work in the sushi bar, a visit to the fish market, the training of apprentices and an octopus massage. In the movie, we learn that you should massage your octopus for 40-45 minutes to make it taste right, not 30 minutes, which is apparently enough for some sushi sellers.
Jiro’s story is told by Jiro himself, his two sons, a former employee and a Japanese food writer.
Jiro recalls being on his own from a very early age. His work ethic is not unlike that of Americans raised during the Depression. (Except my father retired in his early 60’s. Jiro works on.) And, yes, Jiro admits that he does have dreams about sushi.
Jiro’s older son works in his father’s shadow, waiting for the day when he will take over. His younger son has his own sushi place, but still receives supervision from his father.
The food writer points out the qualities necessary to excel in the food biz and does not find Jiro lacking in any way. He mentions Jiro’s high level of excellence, which, through numerous meals he’s eaten there, has never fallen short.
JDOS is punctuated by glorious shots of the various sushi dishes being served, with a nice lingering shot of each piece on the plate, clearly identified.
I recommend buying the movie house popcorn or other snacks because this movie will make you hungry. It opens Friday, April 13, at the Tivoli in University City.