Haute Cuisine

Haute Cuisine

(Les saveurs du Palais)

French comedy based on the story of Danièle Delpeuch (Catherine Frot), a modest provincial chef and restaurant-owner who in the late 1980s was summoned by President François Mitterrand (Jean d'Ormesson) to be his personal cook at his official residence, the Elysée Palace. Having developed a hankering for the traditional regional cuisine he knew in his youth, the President has decided that the chef is just the woman he needs to provide him with "the best of France."

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Flicks Review

Lovers of gastro-porn and fine French dramedy will lap up this amiable tale which feels like a cross between the Child portion of Julie and Julia, Germany’s Mostly Martha and Conversations with My Gardener. Catherine Frot makes for a fine grand dame of cuisine (mushrooms a speciality), while her scenes with d'Ormesson’s President represent the film’s highlight as they swap Ratatouille-esque stories about their favourite childhood meals.... More

Comar and Vincent’s screenplay also excels when revealing the struggles for power that go on within the Presidential household, particularly when his excellency is advised to cut back on the fats and sugars for the good of his health. Tracking shots through the labyrinthine kitchen add spark to proceedings, while Gabriel Yared’s score is melodic without being memorable.

However, where Haute feels slightly over-egged is with the script’s repeated mantra of the importance of farm fresh ingredients, as well as the fractured narrative and Antarctic-set frame tale which revolves around the pursuit of Hortense by an unconvincing Australian film crew. New Zealand also gets a mention, bizarrely for the quality of its fungi. Solid without feeling sumptuous.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 1 ratings, 2 reviews
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BY tankgirl nobody

A delicious storyline, well acted, interesting and ooh those recipes. Double yum!!

BY Weds_Loafers superstar

Eight Loafers went to see "Haute Cuisine" today. It was hard to imagine beforehand what sort of film would come out of a story based on President Mitterand's chef but, as we might have anticipated, the French made a great film out of it. The movie is set mostly in the Presidential Palace in Paris with flashes into the future, where the chef (Hortense Laborie) is now working at a French base near Antarctica. It's an upstairs/downstairs affair (pretty much downstairs only!) and the story is... More enlivened by the rivalry with the long-serving male chef of the main kitchen, and the various bureaucrats who Hortense has to deal with. Some of the visuals are mouth-watering - a great movie for foodies. John, our resident foodie (his Ph D thesis on food safety in NZ is at the printers) loved it. We all rated it highly and our overall average is 4.75 stars (we had 3 people give it 5 stars and none of us went lower than 4). Do go and see it, but have something to eat first!Hide

The Press Reviews

75% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Offers all the ingredients for a great feast of enticing visions and thematic concerns, only to have them be prepared, plated, and served with the grace of Elmer Fudd. Full Review

  • Haute Cuisine is like a scrumptious slice of pastry - there's enough to stimulate the taste buds but not enough to satisfy the appetite. Full Review

  • An airy comedy-drama whose preparation, with its conspicuous lack of Hollywood-style conflict and catharsis, is particularly French. Full Review

The Talk
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