Run time: 135 mins
An unassuming foodie drama on the surface, The Taste of Things is a rhapsodic romance and one of the year’s most scintillating films.
The year is 1885, and the famed chef Dodin Bouffant (Benoît Magimel) prepares a multi-course meal with Eugénie (Juliette Binoche) whom we later learn has been his cooking partner and sometimes-lover for two decades. She brilliantly interprets every demand that Dodin lays down for her: like him, she has an instinctive, creative appreciation of the taste, texture, composition and fragrance of food, the drama and poetry inherent in the way it should be presented and consumed, and its central importance to civilised existence.
Dish by dish, the two have forged a bond more intimate and sustained than some lifelong couples, though Eugénie, who lives in Dodin’s chateau, continues to assert her independence by resisting his frequent marriage proposals.
The film, which was the culinary choice for last December’s anniversary screening, has a charm and delicacy, and Magimel and Binoche perform impeccably; these key ingredients are what make up a sumptuous love story. Bon appetit.