“A Slow Fire” – The Passion of Dodin Bouffant

His original title, “The Passion of Dodin Bouffant”, defines it much better than its Spanish title, which, together with its synopsis and poster, gives a somewhat false idea of ​​what kind of film it is. Yes, it’s a love story and yes, it’s a cooking story. But it is not the typical French good-natured film that usually reaches us under the heading “more than X million viewers in France”.

It is a culinary drama that, through the relationship of respect, admiration and ultimately love between Juliette Binoche and Benot Magimel, paints a portrait of the “passion of Dodin Bouffant” to which this remarkable film is dedicated, making brilliant use of ellipses. The final scene is as clear as it is unnecessary. A soundtrack that is conspicuous by its absence feels unnecessary.

In “To simmer” (sic) those who speak are the ovens, and if they don’t speak about it. In one of these works that focus on the body and soul when eating, you don’t know whether it is better to see it well served or to whet your appetite. So it’s clearly a love story about the art of good cooking and the best food. Out of respect and admiration for whoever makes it into art.

And a way of life. Two hours (or so) in which Tran Anh Hung devotes eloquence and gastronomic sensitivity to describing what love and, almost by definition, respect is: that which gives “flavor” to life through the delicious pleasures of everyday life. With voyeuristic discretion and under an appearance of simplicity that is as honest as it is undisguised, as for dessert, effective and disarming.

And in my head there is only one image that sums it up: that of Anton Ego enjoying his “Ratatouille” at the end of the film of the same name. Something like that, but aimed at an audience more experienced in cooking (and in life).

By Juan Pairet Iglesias


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