Destined to be remembered as one of the great films about the meaning, texture, and experience of food, this sumptuous, exceptionally well-crafted work, set in late 19th-century France, stars Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel (married, decades ago, in real life) as Eugénie, a cook, and Dodin, the gourmet chef she has been working with for 20 years. As they reach middle age, they can no longer deny their mutual romantic feelings, which have so long been concentrated in their passionate professionalism. This simple narrative—based upon Marcel Rouff’s 1924 novel La passion de Dodin-Bouffant, Gourmet—sets the table for a sublime, sense-heightening exploration of pleasure, in which the play of sunlight across a late-afternoon kitchen is as meaningful as the image of a perfectly poached pear or the crisp of a buoyant vol-au-vent. Director Trân Anh Hùng (The Scent of Green Papaya, NYFF31) won the Best Director prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for his bravura, scrupulously deployed feat of epicurean cinema. An IFC Films release.
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