Entertainment and Arts

Visual and Culinary Delight in ‘The Taste of Things’

By: Russ Matthews

Set on a beautiful country estate in France in the late 1800s, Dodin Bouffant (Benoît Magimel) prepares a meal for those who celebrate fine dining and are willing to pay handsomely for the delicacies.

Eugénie (Juliette Binoche) has led his kitchen for years, and the pair have been lovers for over two decades. They celebrate new recipes and discover culinary masterpieces together. Despite his desire for his cook to marry him, she prefers the arrangement to remain as it is since they work so well together and have achieved incredible feats of gastronomy together in this manner. Yet, as they age and her health fades, Dodin continues to pursue her hand in marriage as they prepare for one of the most significant meals of their careers together.

Writer and director Trần Anh Hùng won the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2023 for this beautifully delicious creation, one where he allows the food to speak for the actors throughout most of the film. The visual splendour will cause the audience to yearn for the food before them, even if they lack appreciation of French cuisine.

The excellent relational bond between these two actors is a delicacy worth discovering as they make their time in the kitchen and their relationship a spectacle to experience. One that is beautiful to see and tragic to endure, this story shows the bittersweet joy and pain of romantic relations that stem from unique workplace situations. Binoche and Magimel are wonderful together, and Trần Anh Hùng paints a masterful picture of culinary delights mixed in with the beauty of a romantic drama that will whet your appetite and penetrate your soul.

Reel Dialogue: Food is love (Excerpt from God in 60 Seconds)

With all of the wonderful cuisines of the world, it can be exciting to go to someone’s home to eat. Many times, it could be a journey into another culture. Yet, to many people, a meal is an opportunity to show their guests or family how they love them. Food can represent the heart of the one who serves it.

Interestingly, Jesus even showed us how food can represent love. He even defines himself at one point as “the bread of life.” Within the Bible, we can see from the Passover meal to the simplicity of Jesus sharing bread and wine with his friends that food can be a beautifully gracious expression of God’s love.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. – John 6:35

Reach out to us at Third Space to discuss this and other topics from The Taste of Things in more detail.

Article supplied with thanks to City Bible Forum.

All images: Movie stills

About the author: Russ Matthews is a film critic at City Bible Forum and Reel Dialogue. He has a passion for film and sparking spiritual conversations.

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