‘Ratatouille’ meets ‘The War Room’

D. A. Pennebaker’s best known for directing the landmark Dylan documentary Don’t Look Back. The War Room—his record of Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign—is one of the best politically oriented films we’ve seen. And now Pennebaker has pulled off the near-impossible and made a totally enthralling documentary about pastry chefs.

Co-directed by Pennebaker’s longtime collaborator (and wife), Chris Hegedus, Kings of Pastry follows Chicago-based chef Jacquy Pfeiffer home to Alsace and into competition at the ultra-prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (which the film’s promotional materials describe as “France’s Nobel Prize for pastry”). The pastries might be fluffy, but for Pfeiffer and his co-competitors, the stakes couldn’t be much higher. Foodies will love this film, but you don’t need to be a foodie to fall for it. (On DVD, and streaming, February 22.)

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‘Ratatouille’ meets ‘The War Room’