Friday, July 16, 2010


“Anyone can cook.” So claimed Auguste Gusteau, owner of one of the oldest and most famous restaurants in Paris, the world capital of gourmet cooking. But since his death, his restaurant’s popularity has plummeted, primarily because none of the remaining cooks are great chefs, and the food critic Anton Ego has “made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto.” Seeking sanctuary, a common farm rat named Remy accidentally passes through Gusteau’s kitchen and, on the way, feels compelled to “save” the soup being “cooked” by a young garbage boy named Linguini. The resulting potage is a revelation, and with Remy’s assistance, Linguini is able to return Gusteau’s to its former grandeur. As Anton Ego comments, “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.” And the most common of dishes—omelettes, crepes, soups, ratatouille (an ordinary-looking vegetable stew)—can be the most delicious, and the most memorable.

Released June 29, 2007
Directed by Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava
Screenplay by Brad Bird

Starring (as voices) Lou Romano as Linguini, Patton Oswalt as Remy, Janeane Garofalo as Colette, Peter O’Toole as Anton Ego, Brad Garrett as Auguste Gusteau, Ian Holm as Skinner, Brian Dennehy as Django, Peter Sohn as Emile, Will Arnett as Horst

Awards: 2008 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film; 2008 Saturn Awards for Best Animated Film and Best Writing; 2008 Annie Awards for Best Animated Feature, Best Character Animation in a Feature Production, Best Character Design in an Animated Feature Production, Best Directing in an Animated Feature Production, Best Music in an Animated Feature Production, Best Production Design in an Animated Feature Production, Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production, Best Voice Acting (Holm) in an Animated Feature Production, and Best Writing in an Animated Feature Production; 2008 BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film; 2007 BSFC Award for Best Screenplay; 2008 Broadcast Film Critics Association Critics Choice Award for Best Animated Feature; 2007 CFCA Award for Best Animated Feature; 2008 Christopher Award for Feature Films; 2008 Golden Globe for Best Animated Film; 2008 Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media; 2007 LAFCA Award for Best Animation; 2008 Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing; 2007 NBR Award for Best Animated Feature; 2008 PGA Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award for Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures; 2008 Visual Effects Society Awards for Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Motion Picture, Outstanding Effects in an Animated Motion Picture, and Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture; 2008 Young Artist Award for Best Family Feature Film (Animation); and more!

Fun Fact:
As depicted in the film, the ratatouille dish that Remy prepares for Anton Ego is a variation named confit byaldi, originally created by French chef Michel Guérard and adapted by American chef Thomas Keller, owner of the Napa Valley restaurant “French Laundry.” Instead of being chopped into rough cubes and stewed in a pot to make traditional ratatouille, the vegetables for confit byaldi are sliced into thin rounds, baked covered, then roasted uncovered, and finally served in a fanned-out mound with a vinaigrette garnish. Bell peppers, yellow onions, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, garlic, and a wonderful mélange of garden herbs all go into this most common yet most delicious of dishes.

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