THE TASTE OF THINGS
Trần Anh Hùng (CYCLO, NORWEGIAN WOOD, THE SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA) won the Best Director Award in Cannes for this rapturous ode to French gastronomy and the love between two people pursuing a shared passion. A stately château in France's Loire Valley, 1885: chef Eugénie (Juliette Binoche) and her assistants begin to prepare their latest multicourse masterpiece from a menu conceived by her employer, Dodin Bouffant (Benoît Magimel), a learned gourmand who in partnership with Eugénie has pursued culinary excellence over the past 20 years, becoming a famed restaurateur and gastronomic authority. Under Hùng's patient and attentive direction, slow cinema meets slow cooking, with the opening scene's lovingly mounted preparation of a mouth-watering feast of cordon bleu classics taking up the film's leisurely and hypnotic first half hour. In addition to Eugénie and Dodin's shared love of cooking and harmonious professional collaboration, the two are also occasionally lovers — but Eugénie prefers not to marry, and Dodin treasures their relationship too much to object. When Eugénie falls ill, Dodin must do what he has never done before: prepare a meal especially for her. Winner, Best Director, 2023 Cannes Film Festival. DIR/SCR Trần Anh Hùng; PROD Olivier Delbosc. France, 2023, color, 145 min. In French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
No AFI Member passes accepted.
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