#SheReviews Film: The Taste Of Things

April 23, 2024

It’s no secret that I love anything French so when asked to review a new French film, The Taste of Things, I was very excited.

Nominated for an Oscar and one of the most acclaimed French films of recent times, this lovely romance drama will take you on a culinary adventure.

Starring Juliette Binoche and Benoit Magimel, The Taste of Things, is an ode to haute cuisine. Make sure you eat before you go to the cinema, or your tastebuds will be tingling by the end.

Director Tran Anh Hung has created a cinematically beautiful film filled with food, love, friendship and drama. Set in a chateau in 1885 this film is a visual delight.

Based on the book The Life and Passion of Dodin–Bouffant, which was written in 1924 by Marcel Rouff, this adaptation takes the audience on a deliciously sensual journey that is only heightened by the chemistry between the two leads.

The Story

It tells the story of the magnificent cook, Eugenie (Binoche) who has spent the last twenty years cooking for the acclaimed chef, Dodin (Magimel). Their bond has strengthened from a gastronomic partnership into romantic love. Their menus astonish even the best of chefs with their symphony of flavours. The film reminds us of the time and skill needed to create traditional French cuisine and why it is so revered the world over.

The Taste of Things opens with a languorous and luxurious scene in the kitchen. Almost no words are uttered as our leads prepare for a feast. It shows their intimacy in the most subtle of ways and delights their young visitor, Pauline who revels in the alchemy created.

Although Dodin is keen to marry, Eugenie values her independence and sees no need to change. Their relationship is one of equals who derive great pleasure from each other’s company. But when Eugenie is ailing, Dodin shares his love by cooking a stupendous meal for her. The tables are turned as she tastes his love in every bite. The film follows their romance, dramas and trials.

But it is the food and cooking techniques which set this movie apart. They have been expertly filmed and will leave your mouth watering. Some of the timeless French techniques are shown and you will watch on in awe as dish after dish, filled with mouth watering fresh produce, are plated lovingly by the pair. I wanted to immediately grow my own vegetables.

The Cast

Juliette Binoche is one of the greatest actresses of our time and she plays the role of Eugenie with grace, beauty and heart. It is easy to see why Dodin has fallen under her spell. Benoit Magimel is dashing and has a twinkle in his eye when he looks at Eugenie. He plays the role with passion and a little humour. When they combine together in the kitchen they create a symphony of culinary magic.

Newcomer Bonnie Chagneau – Ravoire nearly steals the show as young gourmand, Pauline. Her expressions are priceless as she tastes the magnificent food. She is the niece of Eugenie’s hardworking kitchen assistant, Violette (Galatea Bellugi).

This film is a languorous and enchanting journey which will warm your heart. It shows a couple in the Autumn of their lives sharing love and companionship in that easy way you do when you’ve been together a long time. Binoche is radiant when she shares that she wishes it to be Summer all year round.

Lovingly filmed and beautifully nuanced it will appeal to those with a love of romance, cooking, French food and for those who enjoy a gentle love story. This masterpiece of French cinema will be in Australian cinemas from May 2. It is simply a feast for the senses.

Bon Appetit!

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