Jiro Dreams of Sushi (8/25/12)

Jiro Dreams of SushiMovie One Hundred Ninety Seven

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary about the life and career of Jiro Ono, sushi chef extraordinaire.

Jiro Ono is a man that has become possibly the greatest sushi chef living today. At over 80 years old and with no sign of retiring, he owns and runs the restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro, along with his oldest son, Yoshikazu. His other son, Takashi, runs a more relaxed, literal mirror image of the restaurant. Meals start at over $300 when converted, and the waiting list is over a month long. The film takes us through what drives Jiro’s constant self-improvement and also explores the inner-workings of the restaurant and what makes it so special.

Sushi is easily one of my favorite foods so I have been patiently waiting for a chance to watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi in hopes of whetting my appetite. Thankfully, this little film is on Netflix Instant Watch and I was able to scarf down this delectable documentary. I had a hard time swallowing the fact that this man could be so good that he could charge so much for the privilege to eat his food, although after watching it I’m still choking on it. OK, I think that’s all the eating puns for this review (maybe).

Jiro’s personal struggle is very touching and the insight the film gives to him and his family is really what makes the film worth watching. Yes, the sushi they make is truly perfect, but without taste-o-vision, who cares? Jiro Dreams of Sushi did make me wish I could have the pleasure of dining in the restaurant, though. I also gained a great appreciation for *good* sushi. One of the points made by one of their fish suppliers is that since sushi is everywhere these days, the good fish population is dwindling. It’s not a point the film dwells on, but it really got me thinking.

While I enjoyed Jiro Dreams of Sushi, I was left hungry for more (sorry). I’m not sure what the film could have covered that would have sated me, and I enjoyed everything I watched, but I still thought it needed something to give it a little push. I would still recommend it to sushi fans and non-sushi fans alike, though. The film is really about Jiro in his quest to perfect sushi rather than the sushi itself.

I give it 4 perfect tuna sushis out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


29 responses to “Jiro Dreams of Sushi (8/25/12)

  1. Great review and documentary I really enjoyed. It does make you wonder how good this sushi really is compared to what you are used to eating. I loved the fact that he’s so passionate about his work and never content, always striving to make it better.

  2. It’s so funny that you wrote a blog post about sushi. Having never tried it, I wrote a blog post about finallly having it and checking it off my Bucket List. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy it, but you stilll made me “hungry” (had to put a food analogy in there as well) to try this documentary. As a Documentary lover, even though I am not a fan of the food, know I will enjoy the movie. Thanks!!

    • I’m a big documentary fan as well as a sushi lover, so that may help make this one extra enjoyable, but even just from a documentary aspect, it’s enjoyable enough to be worth a watch. Hope you like it!

    • I think waiting for the DVD (or streaming) version is more than enough. The visuals are great and all, but not great enough to be really elevated by a big screen. Hope you get a chance to catch it!

  3. This has been a good year for documentaries. I’ve seen The Imposter and Waiting for Sugar Man. Both were extraordinary. Haven’t seen this yet, but based on your review, I will soon.

    • I’m usually quite pleased with documentaries and while I’m sure there are dozens (if not hundreds) of poor documentaries being made each year, the ones I end up seeing are always a treat. I think you’ll enjoy this one when you finally get a chance to see it.

  4. I loved this movie, too! The director did a great job showcasing the food. I think he/she did a better job filming the food than the people. LOL I found it fascinating that there was no mention of Jiro’s wife/baby mama. I wonder why. Anyways, it was about the sushi, right?!?

    I love that story between to the two brothers about the coke can. How one brother shook it and the other brother still blames him for shaking it. That’s so typical Japanese family, I tell ya!

    • I totally agree the film showcased food rather than people and I was also left wondering about the mother, no mention of her at all.
      I wish there more moments like that story in the film. I’m sure there are lots of stories the family shares but we didn’t get to see all aspects of that family dynamic.

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