Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain ★★★½

Perhaps I am one of the few Americans over 50 unfamiliar with Anthony Bourdain--chef, author, actor, traveler, and activist. I never saw any of his food or cultural programs made for cable television, and I never read any of his books or articles. So this documentary from director Morgan Neville was an eye-opener, exposing me to the quirky, unlikely path the middle-aged cook took from obscurity to worldwide celebrity.

Archival footage, interviews with ex-wives Nancy and Ottavia, brother Chris, and friends in the restaurant and television industry paint a picture of a very likeable, somewhat naïve, very intense individual, whom my brother (a professional chef) would have loved. But the fact is that Bourdain took his own life, and nobody really knows why. I feel like I only got to know the man through snapshots, but that might be the closest anyone got to him. As biodocs go, it is quite well done. Three and a half stars, very good.

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