Gérard Depardieu, a starred chef and a declining actor

Rufus (Pierre Richard) and Gabriel Carvin (Gérard Depardieu) in “Umami”, by Slony Sow.


Umami, the second feature film by Slony Sow, is a culinary fairy tale in tune with the times, cultivating the search for the meaning of life. Gérard Depardieu plays the role of a somewhat worn-out starred chef, Gabriel Carvin, who regains his breath by setting off to discover new flavors in Japan (umami, i.e. the fifth flavor, subtle and difficult to identify, coming add to sweet, sour, bitter and salty).

Gabriel disappears to the other side of the world without telling anyone, neither his wife (Sandrine Bonnaire) nor his two sons, one of them being a cook (Bastien Bouillon) and taking advantage of this parenthesis to prove himself in the kitchen. Let’s add the old friend, oyster fisherman and magnetizer, Rufus (Pierre Richard, overplaying the illuminated), who will trigger Gabriel’s sudden Far Eastern escapade.

Coming from the entertainment world (hip-hop, song, theater), Slony Sow had already turned Depardieu in his short film winter frog (2011) – presented at Cannes, at the Cinéma de la plage. This time, the director had to do without the star for the promotion ofUmami : Tuesday, April 11, Mediapart published the testimonies of thirteen women claiming to have been victims of ault by Gérard Depardieu, on the set of eleven films or series released between 2004 and 2022, or in outdoor locations – the 74-year-old actor, already indicted since December 2020 for and ault, following the complaint of actress Charlotte Arnoulddenied “formally” these new charges.

In a press release, at the end of April, the production of the film (Zinc.) made a point of specifying that there were no incidents during the shooting ofUmami : “We interviewed all the teams. No one has reported any inappropriate behavior on the part of Gerard Depardieu. »

burlesque tandems

In this feel-good movie, the actor plays an expected role, that of an ogre who also knows how to be good dough – rants, earthiness, repentance. The opportunity for burlesque tandems with the two Japanese actors Akira Emoto and Kyozo Nagatsuka. It is when the film goes off track (too little) that it manages to surprise, especially during a scene with a pig farmer who plays the guitar to her animals, the head of one of them cooking on a spit. Too bad, on the other hand, that Sandrine Bonnaire has such a narrow role (a neglected woman), the actress appearing severe to the point of caricature.

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