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Film Description

Film Description


Haute Cuisine
Les saveurs du Palais

A box-office smash in France, Haute Cuisine will appeal instantly to anyone interested in its succulent subject: perfectly prepared French food. Based on a true story, Christian Vincent’s charming and inspirational comedy is both an homage to the traditions of French cookery, and a sharp-eyed commentary on social hierarchy in contemporary France.

Hortense Laborie (Catherine Frot), a 50-year-old cook from the Périgord region—the cradle of French gastronomy—is astonished when she’s hired as the personal chef of the President of the French Republic (Jean d’Ormesson), who is hankering after the traditional regional cuisine he knew as a child. Whisked away from her modest restaurant to the lavish halls of the Élysée Palace, Hortense draws on traditional and secret family recipes to bring her presidential patron “the best of France.” But Hortense’s culinary challenges are nothing compared to the social obstacles she encounters from the president’s stuffy bureaucracy and the hidebound conservatism of the Élysée kitchen staff. Forced to navigate the bewildering worlds of social and political etiquette, the hard-driving Hortense pushes back against the system, unafraid of potential faux pas.

Frot carries the film with all her usual charm, quick wit, and tart and clever delivery, but the real star of Haute Cuisine is the cuisine itself, presented lavishly in mouthwatering close-ups. (Who needs 3D?) A bona fide crowd-pleaser and a gourmand’s dream, Haute Cuisine salutes tradition while also speaking to the need to give that tradition new roots.


"Delicious in every way: a must for foodies, but also for anyone who wants to see beautiful work done on the screen, presented in the most prideful way." - David Noh, Film Journal International

"Catherine Frot shines in Christian Vincent's film for foodies in which haute cuisine meets politics in Paris..." - Bernard Besserglik, The Hollywood Reporter

Director: Christian Vincent
Cast: Catherine Frot, Arthur Dupont, Jean d'Ormesson
Year: 2012
Runtime: 95 minutes
Country: France
Language: French (English subtitles)
Distributor: Mongrel

Ratings: ON NR / BC NR / AB NR / SK NR / MB NR / QC NR / Maritmes NR


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