Director – Tran Anh Hung – 2023 – France – Cert. 12a – 145m
A nineteenth century, French gastronome tries to persuade his live-in cook to become his wife – in cinemas in the UK and Ireland from Wednesday, February 14th
1885. Eugénie (Juliette Binoche) is the live-in cook for celebrated gastronome Dodin Bouffant (Benoît Magimel). Over the years, he and his male friends have enjoyed her culinary skills. They are in a relationship: some nights, her bedroom door is unlocked and he can gain admission, other nights, it’s locked. She likes things the way they are and has no plans to marry him. However, he has other ideas…
This opens with a bravura cooking sequence in a huge, French chateau kitchen as Eugénie and her assistant Violette (Galatéa Bellugi) and Violette’s younger, visiting cousin Pauline (Bonnie Chagneau-Ravoire), with a degree of assistance from Dodin, prepare the most amazing French meal you’ve ever seen. You start to think you’re in for two and a half hours of hunger-inducing food porn when the tone starts to shift, and the threads of a plot impose themselves ever so subtly on the proceedings.
Dodin accepts a challenge from a foreign prince, used to lengthy meals that last longer than 24 hours, to cook a meal the challenger will never forget.… Read the rest