THE TASTE OF THINGS – A Review by Jenn Rohm

THE TASTE OF THINGS – A Review by Jenn Rohm

February 14 has become known as a day for romance.  With the right movie, romance can remain front and center on date night.  Director Anh Hung Tran once again brings a story to the screen where the moments between the moments say so much with The Taste of Things.

Set in France in, the late 1880s we follow the story of Eugénie and Dodin, and the passion they hold for food.  Dodin, who is called the “Napoleon of gastronomy”, is focused on food and his love for Eugénie.  She is more realistic and firmly aware of her station in life.  He decides to cook for her himself.  Experiencing the love he puts into the food there is a shift in their relationship.  This isn’t to say this is a meet-cute film.  It is a sensual and passionate tale that will stay with you.    

The opening 40-minute meal preparation sequence is a feast for the senses.  From the garden to the kitchen and then to the plate.  The only thing missing was the smell itself.  With such clear visuals and sounds of a kitchen, my mind filled in bits of the missing scents.   

This is a slow-burn romance that kept my attention throughout the entire film.  With this pacing and about the love of food it didn’t create the “single-person” lonely feeling many of today’s rom-coms can leave you with.  There are a few areas where it feels like a climax to the story is arriving, but this isn’t an action/fast-paced film and they never quite arrive.  

The characters are inspired by Marcel Rouff’s novel, The Passionate Epicure, from 1924.  This tale is not plot-driven or script-driven, but more experience-driven.  It almost becomes a multi-course meal itself as it flows from the preparation of such a meal and its enjoyment to a few snippets of life between then to the next meal preparation.

Juliette Binoche agreed to this film and the search for Dodin took a while.  Benoît Magimel is a popular French actor, but the two have a past.  Tran asked if he could approach Magimel and Binoche agreed.  While both have moved on in their lives and they have spoken over the years about their shared daughter they did not remain close.  This project created an opportunity for the two to connect again and maybe even some healing.  Their familiarity with each other and acting talent created the right amount of smoldering between the two.

Note: If not at a theater that serves food, eat before you go, and don’t forget to grab snacks from the concession stand.

 

Director: Anh Hung Tran

Written By: Marcel Rouff, Anh Hung Tran

Cast: Juliette Binoche, Benoît Magimel

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sensuality, partial nudity, and smoking.

Genres: Drama, History, Romance

Selig Rating: 4 stars

Runtime: 2h 15m

Release Date: February 14, 2024

Language: French with English subtitles

Trailer: The Taste of Things official trailer

Website: The Taste of Things official website

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.

4 Stars – Good movie/show

3 Stars – OK movie/show

2 Stars – Well there was nothing else…

1 Star – Total waste of time.

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