THE TASTE OF THINGS
La Passion de Dodin Bouffant
THE TASTE OF THINGS (formerly THE POT-AU-FEU) is a worthy addition to films about food, love and relationships; from BABETTE''S FEAST to EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN. This sumptuous, exceptionally well-crafted work, set in late 19th-century France, stars Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel (formerly a married couple in real life, their on-screen chemistry is palpable) as Eugénie, a cook, and Dodin, the gourmet chef she has been working with for 20 years. As they reach the midpoint of their lives, they can no longer deny their mutual romantic feelings, which have so long been concentrated in their passionate professionalism in the pursuit of perfecting French cuisine. Vietnamese born and French raised director Trân Anh Hùng (THE SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA), expertly sets the table for a sublime, sense-heightening exploration of pleasure of preparing an epic feast in a chateau’s kitchen, in which natural sunlight dances across a cutting board, to the the precise identities of specific flavors, sight unseen, from a young girl as if she was the greatest sommelier ever. Even the simple image of a perfectly poached pear or the crisp of a buoyant vol-au-vent will make you “ooh and ahh” from your theater seat. THE TASTE OF THINGS is a triumph and a return to form for the director, where he won the Best Director Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for his bravura, scrupulously deployed feat of epicurean cinema.