from the delicate art of gastronomy to cinema

By Benjamin Puech

Published ,

Stéphane Audran in Babette’s Feast, directed by Gabriel Axel in 1987). One of the references of oral cinema. PANORAMA FILM A/S / NORDISK FILM/Collection ChristopheL via AFP

For Tran Anh Hung’s film, a three-star chef was tasked with recreating the dishes of yesteryear.

Look The Pion of Dodin Bouffant is an ordeal. Not because of the quality of Tran Anh Hung’s film, even if it attracted critics very unevenly, but because of the gastronomic magnificence shown on screen. A delicate aroma seemed to waft into the cinema room and the popcorn seemed even more tasteless. There is therefore nothing surprising in the fact that the feature film, which is not unanimously acclaimed, was sent to the Oscars to represent France.

Americans, fond of French cuisine, will swoon over this two and a half hour spectacle during which Benoît Magimel and Juliette Binoche, in the heat of an opulent kitchen from the end of the 19th century, prune, cut and braise, failing to admit their romantic feelings to each other. Pierre Gagnaire, culinary advisor for the feature film, considers that“there hasn’t been a film like this since Babette’s Feast by Gabriel Axel in 1987”. One of the references of oral cinema, with Vatel (2000) by…

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