Movie Review : The Taste Of Things

April 23, 2024

To all lovers of french gastronomy : this film is for you.

Produce by film-maker Tran Anh Hung, The Taste of Things is adapted from the 1924 novel The Life and Passion of Dodin-Bouffant.

The fantastic cook Eugenie has worked for over twenty years alongside the renowned gastronome Dodin. Together, they dedicate their days to cooking and inventing amazing new french food recipes. As time passes, their professional partnership gradually evolves into a romantic relationship. Despite Dodin’s desire to marry Eugenie, she consistently declines. However at the beiginning of the twentieth century, their time together is running out as Eugenie suffers from an unknown illness.

The film revolves around stunning French culinary scenes and the relationship between Eugénie and Dodin.

First of all, I found incredible the aesthetics of the movie. The kitchen where Eugenie and Dodin work is bathed in light,, the smoke from the cooking food mixes with the sun’s rays coming through the windows. The dishes are sophisticated made right before the spectator’s eyes with fresh produce. You can almost smell the food through your screen. The movie was filmed in a castle in France.

The acting is equally impressive. Juliette Binoche takes on Eugenie’s role perfectly, a discreet woman with a passion for her job as a cook. She appears very mysterious when she tries to resist marriage, making her character all the more interesting. Benoît Magimel perfectly embodies Dodin’s role as a intellectual gourmet – carismatic, influential and poet.

The production is of exceptional quality. Renowned three-star chef Pierre Gagnaire served as a consultant for the film and meticulously crafted the recipes featured on screen. Michel Nave, who had been collaborating with Pierre for over 40 years, prepared all the dishes on location. The film was shot using a single camera, enabling viewers to closely follow the actors’ movements in the kitchen. Furthermore, there is no background music throughout the movie, allowing the sounds of cooking to take center stage.

However, I found that there are instances of cliché and monotony, as the storyline lacks unexpected twists and turns.

Overall, “The Taste of Things” elevates gastronomy to the status of art and effectively conveys the philosophy of gastronomy. This movie will turn you into a french food lover addict…

The Taste of Things will release in cinemas nationally on May 2, don’t miss it !

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