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The Taste of Things

Joy Calisoff (Campus Circle)

The Taste of Things (La Passion de Dodin Bouffant), is a 2023 French historical romance written and directed by Tran Anh Hung and starring Juliette Binoche and Benoit Magimel.  

Set in 1885, the film depicts a romance between Dodin Bouffant (Benoit Magimel), a food connoisseur and his cook, Eugenie (Juliette Binoche). The visual aesthetics of The Taste of Things are incredible throughout. The film opens with a 38 minute scene of a meal being prepared in the country kitchen that is both a cinematic feat and also something truly intimate.  Having prepared exquisite meals for Dodin during the past 20 years, we see Eugenie’s immense passion for both the cuisine and Dodin as she creates one luscious dish after another with great care and detail.  In turn, we see a tenderness, appreciation and respect for his beloved cook that only seems to have intensified like a fine wine with time.  Not only is The Taste of Things a sublimely romantic film, but it is also a piece of artistry.  From the costumes, to the floral arrangements, to the images of the delicacies displayed throughout the film, each frame is magnificent, especially thanks to production designer, Toma Baqueni and costume designer, Tran Nu Yen Khe.

Juliette Binoche’s character is also portrayed as an ageless beauty, and the camera loves her.  She is a wonderful role model for women, demonstrating that one can age gracefully and still remain alluring. There is intense chemistry between her and Benoit Magimel since the two were once a couple more than 20 years ago, which makes this the perfect choice for a Valentine’s Day film.  

Vietnamese-French film director and screenwriter, Tran Anh Hung won Best Director at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival for this film and also wrote and directed the acclaimed, The Scent of Green Papaya.  

A vibrant feast for the eyes as well as the soul, you will leave the theater with a full heart and a tremendous appetite. The Taste of Things is a truly scrumptious film. 

The Taste of Things opens in New York and Los Angeles on February 9. For more information about the film, visit https://www.tasteofthings.com.

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