The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (14)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (12)
| Rotten (2)
Whether hitting a curveball or creating haute cuisine, there is something fascinating about watching a precocious talent at work.
What sets this lively, engaging doc apart is that we see Flynn become a culinary star through the eyes of his mother.
For a film whose subject rightfully demands to be seen as more than just a kid, Chef Flynn does way too much coddling.
"Chef Flynn" is an engaging documentary about McGarry's boy-to-man journey, which concludes as he prepares to open his own restaurant in Manhattan.
It's as an ambiguous study of parenting a prodigy that the film lingers on the palate, as McGarry's mother Meg documents and manages his evolution to an obsessive, gradually oppressive degree.
The Food Network crowd will go nuts for the doc, but beyond the shots of luscious dishes, there's a pretty interesting character study here, as well.
Such family dynamics makes director Cameron Yates' film something of a failure as a conventional food documentary. But it's that very tension that makes the material work as nonfiction drama.
... acknowledges its subject's talent while keeping the material honest rather than hagiographic.
At times, Cameron Yates appears to be too protective of his subjects, which somewhat neuters the drama of the narrative.
An undercurrent of familial tension... adds a considerable amount of spice to an already admirably constructed dish.
The result is a doc that probably made the McGarry family very happy, while proving frustrating to anyone who understands how documentaries are made and how restaurants work.
Chef Flynn is a remarkable story of Flynn McGarry. I don't know that I would want my child to follow in Flynn's footsteps and experience his experiences. But at the end, you can't help but admire the man McGarry becomes.
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