Jon Favreau is firmly embedded in the very fabric of Disney these days, and has become one of the company’s favorite sons after delivering consistent success every time he’s collaborated with the studio. Although he directed the MCU’s Iron Man and Iron Man 2 before Marvel was purchased by the Mouse House, he’s remained a recurring presence in the franchise as Happy Hogan, and is established as a key supporting player in the Spider-Man series.
Not only that, but as well as helming the live-action remake of The Jungle Book, he also took the reins on The Lion King. Admittedly, almost anyone could have directed that movie and it would have been a massive success, but Favreau is still the man responsible for the seventh highest-grossing film ever made.
Then, of course, there’s The Mandalorian, which has gone down a storm with fans and critics alike and is comfortably the best thing to come out of the Disney era of Star Wars. The studio system has been very kind to Favreau, then, but he actually got his start in the realm of dramatic comedy by writing Swingers in 1996 and pulling double duty on his directorial debut Made five years later.
To recharge his creative batteries after leaving the MCU, though, the filmmaker brought us what might be the best effort of his entire career in Chef. Favreau takes the lead role as a celebrity chef who decides to reinvent himself as the owner of a food truck. The heartwarming and hilarious indie boasts an impressive ensemble that includes Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson and even a cameo from Robert Downey Jr., and went over very well with critics, currently holding an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes.
A charming and frequently funny feel-good movie, Chef is the sort of easy viewing that goes down great on a lazy afternoon, and is well worth checking out when it gets added to the Netflix library next week on December 1st, as is spinoff documentary series The Chef Show.