Sunday, September 17, 2023

La Passion de Dodin Bouffant / The Taste of Things / The Pot-au-feu

Trần Anh Hùng: La Passion de Dodin Bouffant / The Taste of Things / The Pot-au-feu (FR 2023).

Tie sydämeen / En doft av kärlek
Period Piece / Feel-Good / Love
Theme: Spotlight Selection
Country: France
Director: Trần Anh Hùng
Screenplay: Trần Anh Hùng
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Benoît Magimel
Production: Curiosa Films
Duration: 135 min
Rating: K7
Savoy, Love & Anarchy: Helsinki International Film Festival (HIFF), 17 Sep 2023

Pekka Lanerva (HIFF 2023): " Rakkaus ja ruoka ovat Trần Anh Hùngin uusimman elokuvan teemat. Elokuva on osoitus sekä rakkaudesta ruoan valmistuksen hienouksia että elokuvakerronnan hienovaraista estetiikkaa kohtaan. Tarinan tulkkeina toimivat erinomaiset näyttelijät Juliette Binoche ja Benoît Magimel. Ohjaajan aiemmat elokuvat Cyclo (R&A 1996) ja Päivien kimallus (R&A 2001) sijoittuvat hänen synnyinmaahansa Vietnamiin, nyt hän tarttuu Marcel Rouffin 1800-luvun lopun Ranskaan sijoittuvaan romaaniin. "

" Elokuvan keskiössä ovat varakkaan Dodinin (Magimel) kartanon keittiö ja ruokasali. Suuren gastronomin taustalla on tietenkin nerokas kokki Eugenie (Binoche). Heitä yhdistää intohimo ruokaa ja sen valmistusta sekä toisiaan kohtaan. Eugenie on kuitenkin päättäväinen eikä suostu Dodinin kosintayrityksiin, vaan haluaa säilyttää itsenäisyytensä ja vapautensa. Eugenien sairastuttua Dodin päättää vastata kokkinsa gastronomisiin rakkaudenilmauksiin valmistamalla Eugenielle aterian taiteilijan luovuudella. "

" Trần Anh Hùng todella ansaitsi Cannesissa voittamansa ohjaajapalkinnon, sillä elokuvan huikeiden ruokalajien hienostuneisuuden kanssa kilpailee vain sen kerronnan herkkyys. Jokaisen aterian valmistus kuvataan nautinnollisen luontevasti, mikä vaatii todellista taituruutta. " Pekka Lanerva

Quoted by HIFF 2023: " Thirty years after his first feature The Scent of Green Papaya — a film that, among other riches, lived up to the fragrant promise of its title in its lush scenes of culinary preparation — French-Vietnamese director Hùng has returned to the cinematic kitchen for a slab of outright gastronomic spectacle on the level of Babette’s Feast or Like Water for Chocolate, only more so. Food is the subject, the objective and the driving motor of this scantly plotted but utterly captivating love story set almost entirely within the confines of a French gourmet château in the late 19th century; to clarify the term “love story,” its two human principals are in love with each other, but perhaps in love with food a bit more. At the very least, they struggle to separate the two. " Guy Lodge, Variety

" Where else but France, then, as the setting for the latest, and certainly one of the most appetizing, art house food porn flicks to come along in a while? Tràn Anh Hùng’s The Pot-au-Feu is a movie that captures its mouthwatering dishes like edible, gorgeously realized tableaux, combining culinary marvels with a moving tale of middle-age love. " Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

Language: French
Subtitles: English
Distribution: Cinemanse
Print source: Cinemanse
Cinematography: Jonathan Ricquebourg
Editing: Mario Battistel
Sound: Jules Bertier, François Waledisch
Production design: Toma Baqueni
Costume design: Nathalie Leborgne
Make-up: Noa Yehonatan
In collaboration with Institut Français Helsinki

American festival premiere: 3 Sep 2023 Telluride Film Festival (added title in a TBA slot)

AA: Tràn Anh Hùng's La Passion de Dodin Bouffant immediately rises to the pantheon of the best films on gastronomy, right there with Alfonso Arau's Como agua para chocolate. It is a romance of a lifelong love affair conducted via breathtakingly exquisite cooking. It is a story of the education and refinement of the senses, cooking as an art form - an art form deeply rooted in the earth, in the origins, the ingredients as fresh as possible.

Among recent French films about fine cooking, La Passion de Dodin Bouffant evokes Les Saveurs du Palais and Le Chef. Also the wonderful Julie & Julia, inspired by Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle, and Julia Child.

La Passion de Dodin Bouffant is a feast for the eyes, conveying visually what we cannot experience in tastes and smells. The textures of the ingredients are almost palpable. I kept hearing sighs and groans of happiness all around me. It is a fictional story, but the account of the cooking has documentary value.

A film of great passion and sensuality, also wit and style, and the pleasure of good company sharing a great meal.

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