The Taste of Things

Looks beautiful, beautifully acted, unexpectedly poignant story with touches of whimsy. The original French title, La passion de Dodin Bouffant, does it better — for it is all about the passions of the chef and food critic Dodin. I think Violette (Galatéa Bellugi) has a hard time — justice for Violette!

Dodin (Benoît Magimel) spends happy days creating exquisite food with cook Eugénie (Juliette Binoche), sampling said cuisine with his friends and waxing philosophically. Eugénie and Dodin also have a sparring romance — he wants to marry her, she wants to remain independent. Servant girl Violette brings her niece Pauline (Bonnie Chagneau-Ravoire) into the mix — Pauline turns out to have an exquisite sense of taste and appreciation of food. Eugénie wants to train Pauline to be a cook. Violette famously can’t boil water — though this seems harsh as she does get to stir and sift in the bustling kitchen!

Eugénie’s health is not good, though she pretends all is well, and eventually relents, accepting Dodin’s marriage proposal. Perhaps she senses all is not well. The doctors can’t decide what’s the matter with her, and whether it’s life-threatening — or not. Suddenly Dodin awakes to find Eugénie dead, and buries himself in grief, no longer cooking — due to a lack of a cook.

But having decided not to take Pauline on as an apprentice, Dodin does — and eventually finds his new cook!

There’s also a strange sub-plot about sharing menus with the Prince of Eurasia (Mhamed Arezki), and whether complicated or simple foods are best.

Slow-moving without dragging, enjoy the creation of food, the selection of ingredients, the enjoyment of good things (friends, shared food around the table, good conversation, beautiful walks, talents, a busy kitchen, love). And it will make you hungry with the varied preparation of glossily shot ingredients and sizzling cooking!

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Cultures: Arts Reviews and Views by Susan Tailby

By Susan Tailby. Appreciator of arts and culture; things I've seen and enjoyed and you might too! Reviews all my own opinion....Theatre, Movies, Dance & Art!