Ratatouille 

With the rich, generous Ratatouille, writer-director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Iron Giant) establishes himself as the first CGI auteur. His subject is talent — both how it is expressed and how it often sets individuals at odds with the rest of society. Bird's new film explores these tensions through Remy (Patton Oswalt), a French rat with a hypersensitive nose and a gourmet's soul. Remy is forever searching for the perfect mealtime morsel, and he's constantly slapping rotten bits of trash out of his fellow rats' jaws. Consequently, his fellow rats think he's a pretentious fool. After Remy is separated from his colony, he finds his way into a Parisian restaurant kitchen, where he ascends the culinary heights by literally manipulating the body of a gangly, talentless garbage boy (Lou Romano).

For adults, Ratatouille's snazzy slapstick set-pieces may be less striking than the film's meticulously layered deep-focus backgrounds. During the occasional respites from the action, adults may find themselves not looking at the screen as much as looking into it, marveling at the hyper-real wood, paper, water, and cobblestone.

Along with Oswalt, two actors stand out from the rest of the strong and committed cast (a consistent Pixar virtue). As a no-nonsense female cook in an all-male kitchen, Janeane Garofalo tempers her usual comic abrasiveness with sweetness and creates her most appealing performance. And Peter O'Toole is storybook wicked as a gaunt, continental ghoul who resides in a coffin-shaped chamber. Naturally, he's a food critic. Not so naturally, he's also the star of a funny, blade-like flashback that pares away his pretensions and restores his humanity.

Now playing, multiple locations

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • Jojo Rabbit

      Taika Waititi takes on fascism in the brilliant Jojo Rabbit.
    • The Current War

      Titans of invention butt heads in this ambitious historical epic

The Latest

Letter From The Editor

Thank You For Your Service

Food & Wine

Underground: The Lounge at 3rd & Court

News Feature

CannaBeat: New CBD Products Around Town

Music Features

RIP Zeke Johnson: Performer and Teacher Extraordinaire

We Recommend

Meddlesome Brewing Releases Specialty Beers this Month

We Recommend

Za Fest: Memphis' Largest Pizza Party Is this Weekend

Viewpoint

Hands Off CLERB

Cover Feature

The Vape Debate: Safer Than Cigarettes?

Film Features

Doctor Sleep

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Addison Engelking

Readers also liked…

  • Death Grip

    Memphis filmmaker Sam Bahre talks about his 11-year struggle to create I Filmed Your Death.
    • Apr 19, 2018
  • Ready Player One

    Spielberg mines the past and present in this virtual adventure
    • Apr 6, 2018
  • Isle Of Dogs

    Wes Anderson returns to animation with this charming fable.
    • Apr 15, 2018
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2019

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation