The French movie Delicious is aptly named.
Much of the food that features looks extremely delicious. At the same time the settings and cinematography are luscious while the storyline is rather tasty!
Delicious is set in France in 1789 just prior to the Revolution. At this time fine food is the domain of the nobility so much so that the quality of the food served determines the aristocrat’s standing in society. At the same time the general population is starving.
The cuisine served by The Duke of Chamfort (Benjamin Lavernhe) is regarded as amongst the best in the country due to the skills of his chef, Manceron (Grégory Gadebois). But then Manceron creates a new dish (which he names Le Delicieux) which includes potatoes and truffles.
The response of one of the Duke’s most influential guests to the dish is extremely negative and the Duke insists Manceron apologise for serving food with such ingredients. When Manceron refuses he’s instantly dismissed leaving him and his son with no money and homeless.
He returns to his father’s ransacked regional inn where he swears off ever cooking again. Then a mysterious woman, Louise (Isabelle Carré), appears at the inn that Manceron, his son and an old family friend, who is also a poacher, have been slowly restoring.
Claiming she used to make jam in the kitchen of an aristocrat, Louise asks Manceron to take her on as his apprentice. He refuses her request on several occasions but eventually relents when she offers to pay him to train her.
At the same time Manceron doesn’t believe Louise was a jam maker and instead thinks she was a courtesan, leading to some less than acceptable behaviour. But eventually the two develop a good working relationship.
Thanks to Louise’s business acumen and Manceron’s culinary skills the inn prospers, especially when Louise persuades Manceron to introduce a new dining style which sees diners seated at tables, given menus and served by wait staff.
On hearing of the inn’s success the Duke decides to visit for a meal, a decision that changes everything for Manceron and Louise.
One of the reasons for the success of this feel-good movie is the acting of Gadebois and Carré. He’s totally believable as a man who loves food and who can be rather arrogant and demanding but whose heart is mostly in the right place. Carré also gives a great performance as the very smart Louise who is hiding a big secret.
Both are ably supported by Lavernhe as the vain Duke, Lorenzo Lefebvre as Manceron’s forward thinking son, Christian Bouillette as the old family friend and Guillaume de Tonquedec as the Duke’s steward.
While Delicious is unlikely to appeal to lovers of action movies, for those who enjoy seeing character-filled films and mouth-watering food it’s likely to happily satisfy.
Delicious officially opens on Boxing Day although previews are currently being held at some cinemas.
- movie, review
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