Verdict: 3 / 5
Finally, a film for food lovers and Francophiles alike. A love letter to those two subjects as much as it is supposedly based off a true story, Haute Cuisine is not particularly deep, but gives a warm comfortable feeling that you could just soak yourself in throughout.
Haute Cuisine is nominally based off a true story, in that, its subject matter deals with the personal chef to Francois Mitterand, former president of France, however, most of the finer details are edited into a more cinema appropriate form. Here, the chef is Hortense Laborie (Frot) who is hired to serve the President of the State (d’Ormesson) as his private chef. Her fine, elegant but traditional foods and attitude bring her into conflict with the uptight snobbish staff at the rest of the government center, as much for her being a woman as anything else. If you love the class conflicts such as Downton Abbey has provided in the last few years, well, nobody does it quite as well, or with as much style, as the French do.
The biggest star of the show is of course the food, and what glorious food it is. Haute Cuisine manages to capture something more of the frenetic energy that a kitchen operates under than many other food based movies; however, watching the star work a cabbage is as completely addictive as any of the best Masterchef episodes.
The film is in French, with English subtitles, which is perhaps for the best. If you like the subject matter described above, you’ll like this movie, and at less than 90 minutes it is also fairly brisk. Its fun, and cuddly, but not very deep or explorative. Which is fine too, for what it is.