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When TV5MONDE USA met Juliette Binoche in January in Los Angeles, she was campaigning for the movie "The Taste of Things" (La passion de Dodin Bouffant) at the French consulate. "Americans are very interested by the film. They love French art, French gastronomy and love, because the film is also a love story. There's an enthusiasm to embrace what France is about, its refinement", said the French actress to TV5MONDE USA. "Watching the film is a sensual experience she added. When you hear the vol-au-vent crackling... it's about all the appetizing part of life". The movie "The Taste of Things" already toured US film festivals ahead of its release in February - Telluride, New York and the AfiFest in Los Angeles - and was met with great excitement.
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Juliette Binoche, the French actress with a career spanning over three decades, has established herself as one of the rare actresses who has consistently chosen roles that resonate with her artistic sensibilities, rather than lucrative box office prospects. Over the years, she has been celebrated for her performances in critically acclaimed films like The English Patient, Three Colors: Blue, and Chocolat (LINK HERE to the top 10 movies article). In recent years, Binoche has shifted her focus towards smaller, independent films and festival favorites that allow her to flex even more of her creative muscles.
From her collaborations with acclaimed auteurs like Claire Denis (Avec Amour et Acharnement), Emmanuel Carrere (Ouistreham), and Christophe Honoré (Le Lycéen), to her recent role in Martin Provost's La Bonne Épouse (watch it on TV5MONDE Cinema on Demand), Binoche has proven to be a versatile and dynamic actress who is always on the lookout for challenging and meaningful roles. Binoche's unwavering commitment to quality over financial gain has proved to be a rare commodity in the film industry, and her discernment and selectivity when it comes to roles have earned her a reputation as a performer whose choices can always be trusted.
Which is why it was no surprise when she was cast to be the lead role in Trần Anh Hùng new movie La Passion de Rodin Bouffant (The Taste of Things).
Trần Anh Hùng is a Vietnamese-French filmmaker and screenwriter who has made a significant contribution to world cinema with his unique storytelling style. Born in 1962 in Đà Nẵng, Vietnam, he moved to France at age 12, where he later studied Film at the Sorbonne University. His feature debut in 1993 with "The Scent of Green Papaya" was the talk of the town when it was presented at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie went on to win the Caméra d'Or at the festival, as well as the César Award for best first film. Hùng's next movie all achieved critical success and won numerous awards.
Hùng's filmmaking style is defined by his poetic approach to storytelling. His films often focus on personal relationships, the complexities of human emotions, and the impact of historical events on individuals. Hùng's Vietnamese roots play a significant role in his storytelling, providing an insight into a culture that is often misunderstood by Western audiences.
One of Hùng's earliest works, "The Scent of Green Papaya," is a beautifully crafted film that immerses audiences in the world of a Vietnamese servant girl named Mui. The film explores themes of class division and emotional isolation, depicting a timeless tale of one woman's journey through life. Hùng's unique direction, coupled with the stunning cinematography of Benoît Delhomme, creates a poetic and dream-like atmosphere that transports viewers to another world.
Hùng's next film, "Cyclo," marked a departure from his previous work, taking a more raw and brutal approach to storytelling. The film chronicles the life of a bicycle taxi driver in Ho Chi Minh City who is gradually drawn into a life of crime. Hùng's direction, combined with Nguyen Khoa Anh's powerful performance, creates a gritty and intense portrayal of the desperation and struggle that exists in Vietnamese society. "Cyclo" won the coveted Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival
Hùng's following feature film, "Vertical Ray of the Sun," is a contemplative meditation on family relationships and the passage of time. The film revolves around three sisters in Hanoi, who come to understand the complexities of their relationships with each other as they face the loss of their parents. Hùng's delicate direction, combined with the evocative soundtrack, creates a melancholic and reflective atmosphere that lingers long after the film's conclusion.
His latest film, "The Taste of things" is a not your usual rom-com. It's a celebration of love through the shared love of food, slow cooking, ragoût and casseroles! The movie is set in the 19th century and tells the story of Eugénie (Juliette Binoche), who starts a relationship with a rich man she cooks for, Dodin (Benoît Magimel). When Dodin decides to propose to her, Eugénie has doubts as she always loved her freedom. So he decides to seduce her all over again by doing something he's never done before: cook her one delicious meal after the other.
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