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Pressure Cooker (2008)

Unrated  |   |  Documentary  |  19 June 2008 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 309 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 6 user | 23 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

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Title: Pressure Cooker (2008)

Pressure Cooker (2008) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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great documentary about high school students competing for scholarships to culinary college
22 November 2008 | by (Denver, Colorado, USA) – See all my reviews

My wife and I saw "Pressure Cooker" last night at the Starz Denver International Film Festival. At first, I was afraid I was going to hate it, due to the shaky camera work. But as the story unfolded, I was drawn in. And by the end of it, I was crying with the rest of the audience.

This was the director's first documentary film, and thanks to some interesting characters and excellent editing, she's put together something fantastic.

The film follows the lives of a strict but loving teacher of culinary arts in an inner city high school in Philadelphia, and a half dozen of her students. In an area where most kids don't have a lot of opportunities, these kids are learning to be professional cooks and competing for a few scholarships to big name culinary schools around the US. Their stories are all interesting and varied, and by the end you get a real sense that the students and the teacher have quite a bond. And of course you're rooting for them all to get scholarships.

The story telling is awesome, the sound was surprisingly good, and the editing was top notch. My only complaint - and the only thing keeping me from giving this a 10/10 rating - was that the filmmaker didn't bother using any steadicam. Nearly all the shots are hand held. On a TV you probably wouldn't notice, but on a big screen it's a little distracting.


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