December 12, 2015
Spinning Plates introduces viewers to three distinctly different restaurants, and their owners: a Three-Michelin-Star restaurant in Chicago, a small town family restaurant, and an immigrant couple trying to make a living serving up their native dishes.
Michelin-star-seeker is shown spending a huge amount of time researching and developing unique ways to cook and present various dishes. It’s all about doing things that haven’t been done before (to the point of ridiculousness, many would say).
The small-town restaurant owner Mike ends up being the star of the documentary (in my books), as he’s shown not only running a busy restaurant, but greeting everyone like family – and helping many people in the community. Mike can do no wrong. Despite that, tragedy strikes the restaurant – twice. It seems sketchy but the documentary does not dig deeper into this, as it’s not the focal point of the film. Interesting side note, son-in-law Andy speaks so little in the documentary. Either he’s a shy fellow, or he was victim of the cutting room floor. Hey, more air time for Mike!
The Mexican immigrant couple bet the farm on a home-cooking Mexican restaurant. Every time the filmmakers visit, the restaurant is mostly empty. Viewers can see where this is going. It too bad, though, as the father is so committed to making a better life for his children.
Overall, an interesting documentary. My watching group filled some of the time making ‘Mike’ references throughout – which helped pass the time. It’s not ‘must watch’ for sure: 3/5.