Film Review

The Taste of Things

todayFebruary 22, 2024 21

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By – Nick Adrian

For fans of French cinema, fine cuisine, and Juliette Binoche.

Rarely do you see a film that is a pleasure to more than just the two usual senses associated with the medium: sight and sound. But Trần Anh Hùng’s French-language film The Taste of Things graces the cinematic palate like a fine four-course meal. If cinema can be art where every frame is a painting, Hùng’s latest effort is proof that the medium can be extended into a culinary masterpiece as well.

The film tells the story of 19th century French cook Eugénie (Juliette Binoche), the gourmet chef Dodin (Benoît Magimel) that she works for, and the romance between them that has grown over twenty years. They treat cooking as an artform and seek to share their passion with whoever has the taste for it. The two are deeply appreciated within their community, yet Dodin’s true passion lies in wedding Eugénie, who sees herself as more than just a wife in the kitchen.

While the story itself is simple, what the film truly excels at is taking the viewer on a journey through the process of preparing, cooking, and serving fine cuisine – depicted most effectively in the opening sequence. Food aficionado or not, the care taken in the food preparation sequences will have you yearning for the onscreen meals. Everything from the hypnotically smooth camera work following the process, the impeccable sound design clearly emphasizing every cut and tear of the ingredients, and the comforting results that you can almost taste – it’s an impressive feat that could influence anyone to train themselves in the kitchen.

From the romance between the central characters to the delectable food they cook, The Taste of Things is a delicious cinematic experience for the senses and is one of the year’s first great films.

The Taste of Things starts playing at the Sidewalk Cinema on February 29.

Written by: jamric

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