by Martha Bayne
"I think it's quite simply the best food movie ever made," Bourdain wrote today in an email. "The best restaurant movie ever made--the best chef movie. The tiny details are astonishing: The faded burns on the cooks' wrists. The "personal histories" of the cooks . . . the attention paid to the food. . . . And the Anton Ego ratatouille epiphany hit me like a punch in the chest--literally breathtaking. I saw it in a theater entirely full with adults--and the reaction to that moment was what movie making was once--a long time ago--all about: Audible surprise, delight, awe and even a measure of enlightenment. I am hugely and disproportionately proud that my miniscule contribution (if any) early early in the project's development led to a 'thank you' in the credits. Amazing how much they got 'right.'"
(See Ruhlman's blog for more responses from the foodigensia.)
Frank Bruni, on the other hand, pipes up to protest the film's depiction of food critics as mean, joyless, shriveled egomaniacs.
ETA: Pat Graham weighs in over at our film blog with his own (mildly) dissenting opinion.