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The Passionate Epicures

A woman eats at a small wooden table while a man sits opposite looking at her.Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel in The Taste of Things (courtesy of IFC Films)

A long-gestating passion project for Tran Anh Hung, The Taste of Things takes as its starting point Marcel Rouff’s eccentric, echt-French novel The Life and Passion of Dodin-Bouffant, Gourmet, which follows Dodin-Bouffant in the wake of the death of his longtime cook and occasional sexual companion Eugénie. For his adaptation, Hung retains a few of the book’s incidents but otherwise chooses to tell the story of Dodin-Bouffant and Eugénie’s life before the novel starts. A period romance set in 1889, Taste begins with a lengthy sequence of pure cooking—when I saw the film at Cannes, a woman behind me moaned […]

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