Juliette Binoche finds the taste of new love in “The Taste of Things.”
Written and directed by Tran Anh Hung, the film is officially France’s Oscar submission for Best International Film. “The Taste of Things,” formerly known as “The Pot-au-Feu,” premiered at Cannes in 2023.
Binoche and her ex-partner Benoît Magimel, two chefs, fall in love over a period of 20 years in the 19th century. Hung adapted the romantic drama from Marcel Rouffe’s 1924 novel “The Passionate Epicure.” The film is Hung’s second Oscar entry after 1993’s “Scent of Green Papaya,” in which Hung made history as the first Vietnamese nominee.
Set in late 19th century France, the film follows the life of Dodin Bouffant (Magimel), the outstanding chef who lives with his personal chef and lover Eugénie (Binoche). Eugénie and Dodin share a long history of gastronomy and love. While the emotions remain in check, the culinary discoveries are breathtakingly exquisite. The only catch is that Eugénie refuses to marry Dodin. So the foodie decides to do something he’s never done before: cook for her.
The film will be distributed in the US by IFC Films and Sapan Studio.
“The Taste of Things” beat out France’s “Anatomy of a Fall,” which was expected to be the country’s official Oscar entry. The winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2023, directed by Justine Triet, plays Sandra Hülser in the psychological thriller crime thriller.
“The Taste of Things” was a surprise screening at Telluride and was part of the New York Film Festival program. The IndieWire review praised writer-director Hung for creating a “humorous rhythm, so that long sequences of intense food preparation are punctuated by explicit sexual behavior.”
The sensuality of taste breaks the fourth wall and follows in the footsteps of Babette’s Feast, Julie & Julia and Like Water for Chocolate to add another dimension to the budding on-screen romance.
“The Taste of Things” opens in limited release in theaters on February 9th and expands on February 14th. A qualifying round for the Oscars will take place in December 2023. Check out the trailer below.