Juliette binoche

Sensuous, languorous, soothing and rich: The Taste of Things reviewed

The Taste of Things, which is this year’s French entry for best international film at the Oscars, is a gastro-film but it is not of the ‘Angry Male Chef’ genre. It’s not Boiling Point or The Menu or The Bear. It is not stressful or adrenaline-filled. No one swears or screams ‘Yes, chef!’ Instead, it is sensuous, languorous, soothing and as rich and deep as (I now know) a consommé should be. It will also force you to reappraise vol-au-vents which, in the right, tenderly loving hands, need not be the mean little bullety things that were served here in the seventies. (My mother, I remember, bought them frozen from

Why I’m glad to see the back of Call My Agent!

For the past few weeks I have been binge-watching the Netflix series Call My Agent! (or Dix pour cent, as it is more satisfyingly known in France). Though it’s not quite as exquisite, multilayered and beguiling as my all-time favourite French drama Le Bureau, it has a similar appeal: strong, well-drawn characters in a distinctive setting in another country (France, obvs) where they do things differently because everyone is just so damned French. This time it’s not about foreign intelligence services but a movie talent agency which, though perpetually on its uppers (for the purposes of that TV concept known as ‘jeopardy’, I suppose), nevertheless seems to have on its

Catherine Deneuve at her most Deneuve-ish: The Truth reviewed

To tell you the truth about The Truth, even though it stars Catherine Deneuve at her most Catherine Deneuve-ish (i.e. campily grand) and I was so looking forward it — it’s the first non-Japanese production from Hirokazu Kore-eda, who made the very lovely Shoplifters — it is now quite hard to concentrate on anything in films beyond the fact that they already feel like social history. My God, there was a time when people just went out and about willy-nilly? And they hugged and kissed and weren’t always washing their hands while singing ‘Happy Birthday’? So that gets in the way, as does having to watch films at home rather