7.9/10
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71 user 113 critic

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)

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2:08 | Trailer

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A documentary on 85-year-old sushi master Jiro Ono, his renowned Tokyo restaurant, and his relationship with his son and eventual heir, Yoshikazu.

Director:

David Gelb
2 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jiro Ono ... Himself
Yoshikazu Ono Yoshikazu Ono ... Himself
Masuhiro Yamamoto Masuhiro Yamamoto ... Himself
Daisuke Nakazama Daisuke Nakazama ... Himself
Hachiro Mizutani Hachiro Mizutani ... Himself
Harutaki Takahashi Harutaki Takahashi ... Himself
Hiroki Fujita Hiroki Fujita ... Himself
Tsunenori Ida Tsunenori Ida ... Himself
Toichiro Iida Toichiro Iida ... Himself
Akihiro Oyama Akihiro Oyama ... Himself
Shizuo Oyama Shizuo Oyama ... Himself
Hiroshi Okuda Hiroshi Okuda ... Himself
Yukio Watanabe Yukio Watanabe ... Himself
Kazunori Kumakawa Kazunori Kumakawa ... Himself
Kazuo Fukaya Kazuo Fukaya ... Himself
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Storyline

In the basement of a Tokyo office building, 85 year old sushi master Jiro Ono works tirelessly in his world renowned restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro. As his son Yoshikazu faces the pressures of stepping into his father's shoes and taking over the legendary restaurant, Jiro relentlessly pursues his lifelong quest to create the perfect piece of sushi. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief smoking | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

15 March 2012 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Jiro e l'arte del sushi See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$42,035, 11 March 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,550,508, 19 August 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jiro confessed in a Canberra Times article that he had never dreamed of sushi but does think a lot about it. Jiro said he never dreams but puts that down to his insomnia. See more »

Quotes

Yoshikazu Ono: [on one of his fish vendors] His grandfather was known as "the god of sea eel." He was a legend. I've never met him in person, but that's what I've heard.
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Crazy Credits

In the Special Thanks section, "The Tsukiji Fish Market" is listed twice. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy Pulls Off a Heist! (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Off To Market
Composed and Produced by Rye Randa and Jeff Foxworth aka The Ontic
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User Reviews

 
Both fascinating and inspirational, this portrait of a man in pursuit of perfection is a humbling and life-changing experience
25 July 2012 | by moviexclusiveSee all my reviews

It is a sad but true fact that modern-day society has tended to place too much emphasis on the pursuit of success defined in tangible and even grandiose forms but not so much on the far more meaningful pursuit of perfection. No wonder then that 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi', a thoughtful and absolutely inspiring portrait of the 85-year-old sushi chef Jiro Ono, comes like a breath of fresh air, demonstrating the superior fulfilment one gets by putting perfection ahead of success- since it is with the former that the latter will inevitably follow.

As is with most of our readers, we had not heard of Jiro Ono before this documentary, but here's just a few facts about him to tantalise you. Jiro is the owner of a 10-seater basement-level restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro accessible via underpass en route to the Ginza subway station. Yet despite the fact that the restaurant has a fixed-menu, serves only sushi, and will set you back a whopping ¥30,000 (or $$480), you have to make reservations at least one month in advance in order to secure a seat.

And here's the most amazing thing- that humble restaurant has been awarded three Michelin stars, with both celebrity chefs Anthony Bourdain and Joel Robuchon proclaiming that their best sushi experience was at that very establishment. It's a fascinating subject for a documentary, and debut feature helmer David Gelb more than does his subject justice with a thoroughly intriguing look at Jiro's recipe for perfection as well as the dynamic between Jiro and his eldest son cum future heir to the business Yoshikazu.

It's no secret to reveal that dedication, hard work and perseverance are the ingredients to Jiro's success today- and Gelb demonstrates this through interviews with a prominent Japanese food critic Yamamoto Masuhiro, current and former apprentices, and of course Jiro himself. Each of these are informative and insightful, yielding different perspectives on the master – or as the Japanese would call him, 'shokunin', which means artisan – and among the ones you won't forget are his exacting ten-year training regime for staff and his constant and consistent pursuit for betterment.

Yet any portrayal of Jiro cannot be complete without his two sons - the elder Yoshikazu mentioned earlier and his younger son Takashi, who runs the restaurant's only other branch in the upscale Roppongi Hills neighbourhood in Tokyo. Instead of a college education, both sons were trained by their father from young as sushi chefs, and as Jiro himself admits, their tutelage could not have been any much easier than the other kitchen workers who spend hours fanning sheets of nori seaweed over a coal fire or practise making sweet omelette 200 times.

Throughout the movie, Gelb deliberately teases the question of whether the younger Ono, Yoshikazu, is indeed worthy enough to take over the reins from Jiro. It's not easy trying to live up to the expectations of a perfectionist father ("Jiro's ghost will always be there watching," he says with resignation at one point) but the answer as to whether Yoshikazu is good enough, is absolutely gratifying when it comes. Compared to Yoshikazu, less emphasis is paid on Takashi, except to imply that Takashi's methods will never be the same as that of Jiro's.

Interesting to note too that Jiro isn't the only one so passionate about his work- in fact, as Yoshikazu brings us on a tour of the teeming Tsujiki market where the restaurant, like most if not all other sushi joints in Tokyo, gets its catch, it becomes clear that Jiro has been able to keep up such high standards in his food precisely because his suppliers share the same demanding standards over the catch they sell. It's almost a code of practice between the two parties, and even Jiro's rice supplier refuses to sell the same rice he does to Jiro to the folks at the Grand Hyatt because he thinks he might as well not let them have it if they don't know how to cook it.

The attitude displayed by these individuals, including of course Jiro, is truly admirable – and like the people in the film, Gelb's documentary while multi-faceted in its subjects, remains as its titular character singular of purpose in reminding its audiences the reason for Jiro's extraordinary success thus far. Of course, there are the requisite mouth-watering shots of freshly made sushi to tantalise your tastebuds, but what ultimately rings loud and true is the very qualities that has gotten Jiro recognised by the Japanese government as a 'national treasure'.

And as far-fetched as the title may sound, it is actually meant to be taken literally – "in dreams I have grand visions of sushi," says Jiro, the pursuit of which forms the very essence of his being. We dare go as far as to say that watching 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi' is a life-changing experience, one that forces you to reflect and re-evaluate your priorities, to place perfection over success, and to recognise that the pursuit of one's dreams can truly be fulfilling.

  • www.moviexclusive.com


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