Film Review: The Taste of Things

The Taste of Things: A First Look Inside France’s Sumptuous Oscar Submission

MarkMeets premiered the exclusive trailer for the romantic drama ‘The Taste of Things’, in which Juliette Binoche does some of the best onscreen cooking you’ll ever see.

The Taste of Things, directed by Trần Anh Hùng, is a visually sumptuous and emotionally resonant film that explores the profound connection between food, love, and life. The movie not only captivates the audience with its culinary artistry but also delves into the complexities of human relationships and personal passions. A word of advice: do not attempt to watch this 135-minute masterpiece on an empty stomach.

A Tale of Gastronomic Delights and Unfulfilled Desires

Set against the backdrop of late-1800s France, The Taste of Things revolves around the intricate bond between Dodin (Benoit Magîmel), a gastronomic connoisseur, and Eugénie (Juliette Binoche), the dedicated cook who has been his culinary accomplice for decades. Each day, Eugénie toils away in the kitchen, often with Dodin’s enthusiastic participation, creating elaborate, multi-course feasts that are nothing short of edible masterpieces. These culinary creations are usually reserved for Dodin and his small entourage, who revel in the decadent flavors and aesthetic beauty of Eugénie’s culinary creations. Amid this culinary tapestry, a subtle romance brews. Dodin persistently proposes marriage to Eugénie, yet she resists his advances, asserting her preference for their existing relationship and her role as the esteemed cook.

However, the idyllic rhythm of their lives is abruptly disrupted when Eugénie falls prey to a mysterious illness, succumbing to delirium and fainting spells. As Dodin and Eugénie confront the altered course of their existence, their connection is put to the test. They continue to channel their shared passion for food and its associated emotions, but now within the confines of a shifting reality.

Masterful Storytelling: Navigating Light and Darkness

Trần Anh Hùng skillfully navigates a tonal shift in The Taste of Things due to the evolution of its narrative. While the film’s first half is characterized by a lighthearted and airy atmosphere, with extensive sequences devoted to Dodin and Eugénie’s culinary artistry, the mood takes a darker turn as the characters confront the new challenges that life throws their way. Hùng seamlessly transitions between moments of levity and gravity, creating a harmonious blend where each element complements the other. Consequently, the emotional impact of the film’s pivotal moments is deeply profound and resonates with the fundamental nature of existence.

A Feast for the Senses: “Food Porn” on Screen

The Taste of Things earns the rare distinction of being classified as “food porn,” and it proudly achieves this accolade within its first ten minutes. The film boasts numerous cooking sequences, all meticulously directed with delicacy and precision. The key to their effectiveness lies in the artful choreography of the camera. As Dodin and Eugénie glide through the kitchen, selecting the finest ingredients and orchestrating the symphony of flavors, Hùng’s camera gracefully follows their every move. This dynamic camerawork creates an immersive experience that not only keeps the audience riveted to the characters but also tantalizes them with the delectable dishes taking shape before their eyes. This visual style serves to deepen the audience’s connection with the characters, enabling them to grasp the profound significance of food in their lives and understand why each ingredient and recipe holds such personal meaning.

A Script of Depth and Beauty

Hùng’s screenplay is another jewel in the film’s crown, brimming with profound reflections on the nature of devotion, the artistic essence of food, and the power of unwavering passion. The script is adorned with weighty one-liners that are delivered with finesse by the brilliant duo of Magîmel and Binoche, who shine throughout the film. Crafting a convincing and relatable relationship from the outset can be a daunting task, especially when the characters’ dialogue revolves around abstract concepts rather than each other. Yet, through the screenplay’s eloquence and the natural chemistry between the lead actors, the connection between Dodin and Eugénie feels so authentic that it could almost be a real-life documentary.

In Conclusion: A Culinary and Cinematic Triumph

The Taste of Things is a triumph on multiple fronts. It tantalizes the audience’s senses with its exquisite depiction of food, while also touching their hearts with its exploration of human connections and passions. Trần Anh Hùng’s expert direction, coupled with a script that delves deep into the essence of love and culinary artistry, makes this film a rich and emotionally resonant experience. With a compelling narrative and stellar performances, this cinematic gem is an invitation to savor the beauty of life through the art of food. This reviewer’s rating: 7.5/10.

Author Profile

Sarah Meere
Sarah Meere
Executive Editor

Sarah looks after corporate enquiries and relationships for UKFilmPremieres, CelebEvents, ShowbizGossip, Celeb Management brands for the MarkMeets Group. Sarah works for numerous media brands across the UK.


Leave a Reply