On June 8, 2018, the entertainment world was marked by the shocking news of the death of chef Anthony Bourdain, a well-loved figure on television; known for his programs Chef’s Table and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, in which he explored different destinations to learn about all kinds of foods and cultures. Among these places, Bourdain also visited Mexico, a country to which he had great affection for its food and to which he expressed all his support on the issue of immigration in the United States. Also the author of dozens of cookbooks that became bestsellers, he was distinguished as a professional who demonstrated an enormous passion for gastronomy, a cheerful and charismatic person, that no one would have ever imagined that he would commit suicide during a spring in France.
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The death of this star continues to be a mystery, but beyond this regrettable fact, the chef is still remembered for his philosophy, life story and impact on gastronomy, that is why the renowned Oscar-winning documentary maker for the film 20 Steps to Fame – 99% Morgan Neville has paid tribute to Bourdain in his latest project, Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain – 89%.
The documentary focuses on Bourdain’s life and his career as a chef, writer, and host. It portrays a man acclaimed for his authentic approach to food, culture and travel. In addition to reviewing the career of this figure, it is also an intimate exploration of Bourdain’s personal life and most hidden secrets. The film includes interviews with the chef’s ex-wife, the television celebrity’s closest friends, and the producers of the shows she was a part of. Neville, also a director of such films as Keith Richards: Under the Influence, Best of Enemies – 94%, 20 Steps from Fame – 99%, They Will Love Me When I’m Dead – 88% and Won’t You Be My Neighboor, has an extraordinary talent for the documentary genre and his productions have been well acclaimed by critics. Below we will discover what they say about this new project that has been presented in the Tribeca Film Festival 2021.
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain – 89% debut with a positive rating. Critics detail that it is an intelligent documentary, which investigates the enigmas in Bourdain’s life and the director knows perfectly well what questions he can answer with his feature film. The press describes this film as a crude and enlightening production, about a figure who allowed himself to go beyond his limits. The specialists argue that despite using a linear structure, the film works and is interesting when addressing the rise to fame and personal transformation of this chef. It is said that there are revealing moments and the stories that are told in the interviews become very attractive to the audience.
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The critics emphasize that the documentary is filmed without filters and in that sense, it perfectly represents Bourdain’s carefree essence, however, it is appreciated that the film addresses the darker side of a man who was always recognized for his level of happiness . It is emphasized that the project is also full of sad, nostalgic and even painful moments, but among this range of emotions, a series of reflections is offered that go beyond food dishes. In addition to serving as a tribute, critics say Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain – 89% is a love letter and a collective duel to fire this television host.
Here is more of what critics have to say about this documentary:
Jason Bailey from The Playlist:
At best, it does what Bourdain’s work did: “Roadrunner” makes you want to get on a plane, discover a new place, a new culture, eat good food, and make a new friend.
Clint Worthington de Concequence:
Watching Roadrunner feels like engaging in some kind of collective duel, a desperate attempt to understand a man who meant so much to so many, even if we never met him.
Tim Grierson of Screen Daily:
A film that offers food for thought.
Daniel Fienberg from The Hollywood Reporter:
… a documentary full of remarkable images.
Matt Goldberg de Collider:
Morgan Neville’s documentary is captivating enough until he makes the ugly decision to try to “solve” Bourdain’s suicide.
Elizabeth Weitzman de The Wrap:
Roadrunner brings a priceless gift and a stronger connection to all Bourdain fans …
Owen Gleiberman de Variety:
The documentary is full of good stories …
Eric Kohn de IndieWire:
A fitting tribute to a brilliant soul.
Leah Greenblatt de Entertainment Weekly:
… a raw and unmissable documentary.
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