The Reel Review


For more than 20 years, Eugenie has worked as a live-in cook for her gourmand employer Dodin, with their relationship blossoming in recent years into a romantic one as well. But when Eugenie again rejects Dodin’s request to marry, not wanting to ruin a good thing, he cooks for her, using their mutual love language of food to win her over. Juliette Binoche and Benoit Magimel star in this period romantic drama set in 1899 France.

Galatea Bellugi, Bonnie Chagneau-Ravoire, Benoit Magimel and Juliette Binoche in The Taste of Things

The Taste of Things (aka La Passion de Dodin Bouffant in France) is co-writer/director Anh Hung Tran’s (The Scent of Green Papaya) love letter to the art of cooking. The first 38 minutes of the film show the duo lovingly crafting a sumptuous multi-course meal for Dodin’s friends. It is so well-choreographed and looks so delicious you can almost smell the food. It will have your taste buds in overdrive.

Juliette Binoche in The Taste of Things

Despite the romantic drama’s slow, languid pace – which arguably does let the story breathe and give it authenticity – the acting, melodic score and food cinematography are all outstanding. While not for everyone, this subtle, more arthouse-friendly romantic drama is an understated, delicious love story for the more refined viewing palate.


The Taste of Things stars Benoît Magimel and Juliette Binoche were married from 1998 to 2003 and have a daughter together. Binoche says they had not stayed in touch until this film, which she says has opened the door for them to be friends.

The Taste of Things director won Best Director at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. The film also made the 15-film shortlist as France’s entry for Best International Film for the 2024 Oscars.

The Taste of Things was filmed in Maine-et-Loire, France.


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