Thank you for this fine review of this wonderful movie. (I’ve already seen it twice — at the sneak preview and this weekend as well.) However, I must dissent from one line: “I found myself wishing that it has also been noted that cooking isn’t the sole provenance of great chefs.”
[Spoiler warning!] While it is a subtle point, I believe that this very message is conveyed by Ego’s experience of Remy’s ratatouille. It doesn’t take him back to other dishes he’s had at fine restaurants — it takes him back to being a little boy, for whom Mama’s simple vegetable stew was the most wonderful thing in the world, because it was made for him with love.
Thanks for your kind words, and your excellent observation. Perhaps I need to see the film a second time myself! Come to think of it, perhaps I need to see it a second time anyway; this really is a delightful film, and I look forward to watching it over and over on DVD with my kids.
In any case, I think you have a valid insight; I may just have to revisit this point in my review (with due credit, of course).