Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven
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A FASCINATING LOOK AT A LEGENDARY RESTAURANT, A FAMILY AND A LEGACY
From the director of Page One: Inside the New York Times comes Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven, an intimate portrait of Le Cirque founder Sirio Maccioni and his three sons - Mauro, Marco and Mario - to whom he will one day leave his formidable cultural and culinary legacy. Director Andrew Rossi not only gains unbelievable access to the larger-than-life Maccioni family but also catches the family at a dramatic transition: the closing of Le Cirque in 2004, its celebrated re-opening in New York's Bloomberg building two years later followed by the nerve-wracking wait for New York's restaurant critics to weigh in on the new location.
Not only is Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven is a must-see for anyone who is passionate about food and dining, but it shows us a family embroiled in the age-old struggle between fathers, sons, tradition and change. Which, for the family behind Le Cirque, means the fate of one of New York's most treasured institutions hangs in the balance. Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven is a fascinating portrait of a family business caught in the world's spotlight.
Wonderful! Appealing to every taste. --David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle
A delight to watch. --Neil Genzlinger, New York Times
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This has been an "Andrew Rossi Film Festival" week for me. Two days ago I watched - and reviewed here on Amazon - his latest film: "Page One" about the New York Times and the effect of digital media on the printed newspaper. Then yesterday I got Rossi's previous directing effort: Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven" which he made on 2008. Both are excellent.
I won't go into the details of the film since fellow reviewer KG Harris has already done a fine job of that. But I'll add a few more insights, that I hope will be helpful.
This film was produced by the HBO Documentary division of HBO Films and is being distributed on DVD by First Run Features - which has, over the last few years, created a niche in "foodie films" - "Kings of Pastry", " Guy Martin" and even "Dive!" (About dumpster divers - all of which I've reviewed on Amazon.
Rossi uses the same techniques as "Page One" here, getting total access to be with the Maccioni family (Sirio, the founder of Le Cirque, his wife, and their three sons) for a three year period. When he read that Sirio was closing the restaurant in the Palace Hotel, he realized he had only three months before that last serving on 12/31/2004. He followed the family for the next two years as they built and staffed the new location in the Bloomsberg Building. And you feel like a fly-on-the-wall in some scenes where Sirio and his sons argue. There's even a scene where Sirio enters an elevator, after a disappointment, and it's just he and the camera, alone, for 15 seconds.
Sirio started in the Restaurant business as a bus boy at age 13.Read more ›
Having watched numerous documentary features set in a similar milieu, I will say that Le Cirque's unique hook is portrayed in the family dynamic. Sirio is stubborn (and justifiably so), set in his habits, and mistrustful of change. Each of the sons represents a different way of thinking and as the future of the business is their legacy, the opposing viewpoints often lead to conflict. As decisions about the new Le Cirque push forward, the movie showcases the intimacies and frustrations that make for grand drama. Family business, both personal and private, is laid bare for the world to see. And while it becomes apparent there will never be a true meeting of minds, the family is bonded by love and the desire to succeed.Read more ›