Tran Anh Hung's THE TASTE OF THINGS is that rare film that makes you believe you can taste, smell, and feel the food being prepared on screen. That the story is one of passion of many types adds to the power the sensory experience. Based on the novel La vie et la passion de Dodin Bouffant gourmet by Marcel Rouff, Hung took some liberties with the narrative set in the late 19th century that only enhances the love story between Dodin and his housekeeper who is also the love of his live, Eugenie, a woman who shares his culinary vision and exacting standards. Played by former real-life lovers Benoît Magimel and Juliette Binoche, the romance of these two gourmands has a pulsing vibrance that manifests in the creation of elaborate dishes served with a palpable affection.

Indeed, the film begins with a virtually wordless sequence in which Eugenie (played by Binoche) performs a dazzling bit of magic with produce, spices, and proteins.

The visuals in this film are as sumptuous as the food we see being prepared and consumed, and that's where I wanted to start when we spoke via Zoom on January 26, 2024.

We went on to talk about what did and didn’t influence him; why this was the right project on which to collaborate with his longtime friend, Binoche; producing the perfect smile, and his approach to keeping the gastronomy at the center of a film about romance.

We finished up with the way to a woman’s heart; any training the stars did or didn’t require; the fragility of a pot au feu; the taboo of ortolons; and ho making this film changed Hung’s relationship to food.

The film co-stars Emmanuel Salinger, Patrick d'Assumçao, Galatéa Bellugi, Frédéric Fisbach and Bonnie Chagneau-Ravoire.

Hung directed from his own script, and his previous work includes THE SCENT OF GREEN PAPAYA and NORWEGIAN WOOD.