Frugal Gourmet

sarris ratatouille3h Frugal GourmetRATATOUILLE
Running time 110 minutes
Directed by Brad Bird
Written by Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava and Jim Capobianco
Starring Peter O’Toole, Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm

Brad Bird’s Ratatouille, from a screenplay by Mr. Bird based on a story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco and Mr. Bird, extends the revisionist Francophilia of Sicko to the realm of haute cuisine with verbal wit, imaginatively shaded and textured animation, and an Oscar-worthy voice-over for too frequent Oscar loser Peter O’Toole as Anton Ego, the screen’s first sympathetically redeemed critic in any field, much less that of food preparation.

The film’s main protagonist, however, is Remy (Patton Oswalt), a rat with a gourmet palate and the artistic ambition to create new recipes for the world in the hallowed tradition of gourmet legend Auguste Gusteau (Brad Garrett), who has just died from grief over a bad review by the aforementioned Anton Ego.

Remy chooses as the human practitioners of his genius a hapless kitchen helper named Linguini (Lou Romano) and his acid-tongued eventual sweetheart of a cook Colette (Janeane Garofalo). Remy faces two major obstacles in his career path, the first from his father and the rest of the noncutesy-drawn rodents, who fervently believe that garbage is the most tasteful and nutritious food there is, and the second from Gusteau’s venal successor, Skinner (Ian Holm), who shamefully wants to make money by marketing fast-food recipes. It is a long, hard fight for Remy, but he prevails in the end with the soulful acquiescence of the converted food critic, Anton Ego. In short, Ratatouille is a veritable feast for the eye and the ear. Don’t miss it.