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A recommendation: The Taste of Things 🍲

“May I watch you eat?” One of the best food lover films ever is now playing in select theaters around the US - and I can’t recommend it enough. The official release title is The Taste of Things, which is more descriptive about the film’s delectable side than anything else. When I first watched this romantic drama at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival last year, it went under two other different titles: The Pot-au-Feu (which is actually a French dish made with beef & potatoes discussed often in the film - here's a recipe (Opens in a new window)) and the original French name La Passion de Dodin Bouffant (or The Passion of Dodin Bouffant - referring to the main gourmet character in this film’s passion for food and his love for his chef Eugénie). The film’s French-Vietnamese director Trần Anh Hùng won the Best Director prize at the end of Cannes, and I raved about the film in my review (Opens in a new window). This is cinema! I wrote that it “opens with an utterly breathtaking ~30 minute sequence showing Eugénie, nearly silently, prepare and cook an entire feast from start to finish in her vintage kitchen run by wood-burning stove. I was waiting for the right moment to burst into rapturous applause, but by the time they start eating, and after she finishes cooking, the film just continues on drifting its way right into the next big conversation about gastronomy.” Yep it’s a wonderful film about food and how powerful and delightful and delicious it can be, and how it’s an art to prepare it correctly.

Part of that sentence from my review ended up being used on the official US poster for the release - as seen above. The Taste of Things was eventually chosen by France to be their submission to the 96th Academy Awards coming up soon this year, however it didn’t get up getting nominated (Opens in a new window). That doesn’t matter because it’s nonetheless still an extraordinary film that will have a life well beyond festivals and awards shows as one of the best food films ever made. “Savor every moment” is a perfect tagline because it’s talking about savoring all the incredible food cooked in this film, along with the film itself. It’s perfectly shot with exceptional cinematography by DP Jonathan Ricquebourg. It’s also perfectly acted by both Juliette Binoche as Eugénie and Benoît Magimel as Dodin Bouffant. The two live together and cook together, and Dodin has a thing for Eugenie, but she’s not that into him – until he decides to cook a meal for her and blow her mind with his meal. It’s a love story, but it really is a foodie film above all, focusing on the remarkable process of foraging, preparing, cooking and serving - and how every step matters just as much as the next in making sure every meal is perfect. If you love eating and cooking as much as I do, then this is a must watch film. Go see it in theaters! Check your local listings, it’s probably playing at your local art house now – or sometime soon.

The Taste of Things is in theaters now - info and tickets from the official site (Opens in a new window).

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