Flash Movie Review: Spinning Plates
Food has the capability to take on different roles to fill a person’s needs. For some people food is a friend to them, never declining an invite to be at their dining room table. There are some folks who see food simply as fuel to keep them going through the day. The individuals who say they did not have a meal because they forgot to eat, I have no understanding of them. I have had a love/hate relationship with all the pervasive foods I have met in my life. When I have struggled through rough times, food would always be there to comfort me. The more full I became the more numb I would be to the ugliness around me. Those were the times where I loved my food. But coming off those satiated, sugar induced highs would only pull me down to the dark recesses of unworthiness and loathing towards my increased girth. These days I have maintained a respectful balance with food. During the weekdays I make food drive a one lane, bumpy road to visit me; on the weekends, the two of us take a fun road trip out on the highway. Since I tend to be a low rent eater, finding comfort in simpler foods, I was not sure I would appreciate this documentary. I was completely wrong; this film festival winning movie focused on three distinct restaurants, each with a different outlook on what food meant to them. In Grant Achatz’ Alinea restaurant, food blended with science to create a new art form. The 150 year old family restaurant Breitbach’s Country Dining used food to bring a community together. For the start-up Mexican restaurant La Cocina de Gabby, food would provide a better life for the owners’ 3 year old daughter. This captivating film seamlessly moved from one restaurant to the other, cleverly shedding class distinctions to provide the true essence on the meaning of food. A perfect companion to the story was the well blended musical score. I was lucky to have attended a showing where the director did a question and answer session after the film and appreciated the fact he wanted to make this movie as a counterpoint to all the cooking reality shows out there. He succeeded for this documentary brought in the human aspect in regards to preparing and serving a meal. Be forewarned because after the movie I went straight home and grazed through my pantry and refrigerator.
3 1/3 stars