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|Index||48 reviews in total|
Why can't American directors make movies like this? It's quiet, calm, small, understated, beautifully paced (read: slow and leisurely) and thought-provoking. The premise of the movie is not whether opposites attract (which would be nothing new) but whether our preconceptions often keep us closed down to new people and new experiences. With some gentle nudges, the characters in this lovely movie take deep breaths, look again at people and situations, and see what had been missed before. And yes, it does make us think about how art enriches us and helps us abandon the old preconceptions. Jean-Pierre Bacri is, as usual, splendid, making himself mildly repulsive and appealing, almost simultaneously (though he ends up definitely on the appealing side of the line.) How does he do it? And it's a treat to know that the actress playing the younger woman, Manie, is both the film's director and screenwriter. If you want to know what I mean about pacing, just watch the main character, Clara, as she comes out of cafe after having been stood up for an English lesson. An American director would have cut the scene as she leaves the cafe and bustles across the street in the rain, annoyed and wound up tight as a drum. But in this movie, the camera follows Clara as she walks in the rain down a long street - the shot just lasts forever, and you can see all of Clara's irritation dissipating and turning into loneliness. It's a beautiful shot.
A rich but uncultured provincial businessman falls for a local actress and
pushes himself into her circle of arty friends. Initially they see him as a
Philistine and treat him as a joke, but their attitudes change when he
becomes a potential buyer for their work. Meantime, his interior designer
wife is forcing her chintzy styles onto his sister who has moved in nearby,
and his bodyguard and his driver are having to deal with their own
shortcomings in their amorous encounters with a local barmaid.
The interwoven sub-plots, the intelligent characterisation and the witty dialogue make this a sophisticated drama in the best sense. The film indulges neither the shallow bourgeoisie nor the supercilious bohemians, but all the characters are real and believable.
If the plot offers no easy solutions to the complex needs and insecurities of its characters, it does at least show each of them, in his or her own way, learning something significant about themselves and about other people. The two leading characters in particular come to see each other in a more accepting light, and a direction for the future is opened up.
The confidence, intelligence and humour with which director Agnes Jaoui presents these tangled lives are a pleasure to experience, and she offers a refreshing and very European alternative to the more clichéd characterisation favoured by Hollywood.
Castella isn´t very happy with his life, although
his firm runs quite well. He´s tired, and unlucky
with his wife. There are his bodyguard Franck,
and his driver Bruno, who also got problems in
their relationships. But one day Castella falls
in love with Clara, his new business english
teacher. He tries to change his life for her...
"Le gout des autres" is Agnes Jaoui´s debut as a director. She wrote the script together with her husband Jean Pierre Bacri (Castella) and also plays the role of Manie the waitress, Francks girlfriend. I have seen both together three years ago in "On connait la chanson", a wonderful musical-comedy. After watching "Le gout des autres" I felt like walking on clouds. Honestly, I LOVE french comedies for this! Irresistible, charming, enchanting!
Magnificent piece of actors' work, the movie unites a set of characters elaborately put together, like a human puzzle, and the result is nothing short of spectacular. The quality of this script allows us to rethink everything about the characters we take for granted, and there is always a surprise around the corner, which, for the viewer, is one rewarding experience, since the story is so simple, and yet so complex. At the end, we won't believe our eyes - talk about character arcs! Rest assured, this is a movie always worth seeing and one of the best actors' movies I have seen for years.
What a joy to find a film written and acted by Adults to inform and entertain Other Adults. Matrix-loving-popcorn heads can give this one a miss and hurry to the next American Pie infantalia. What a joy, too, to realize that the Cesars got it right this time around and handed this entry a bagful. There is so much to ENJOY here from the circular storyline - Castella owns a factory and employs a chauffeur and a bodyguard. His wife drags him to the theatre where a neice is appearing in 'Berenice', a French classic in verse. Castella is a complete philistine from the shoes up and would rather give the play a miss and come back for the curtain. BUT, surprise, surprise, playing the lead is Clara Davaux, a woman he had interviewed as an English teacher and dismissed without a second thought. Now, he sees her in a new light and falls in mid-life crisis. Clara drinks and eats in a bar where Manie works. Manie deals on the side. Castella drops in for a bite to eat with chauffeur and bodyguard. It seems that the chauffeur has had sex with Manie and does not remember. They resume their relationship whilst Castella now books English lessons from Clara like there's no tomorrow. The chauffeur introduces Manie to the bodyguard and before long he and Manie are in the sack as well. All roads lead back to Castella and after being attacked he winds up in Manie's bathroom for some tlc. By now he has declared his feelings for Clara and been deep-sixed, yet when she stars as Hedda Gabler she longs to see him in the audience. The acting is so perfect it makes your teeth ache. The scene where Castella reads Clara a poem he has written for her is painful to watch because it is written and acted with such honesty. Both writers - Jean-Pierre Bacri (Castella) and Agnes Jaoui (Manie), who also directed, have not flinched from writing scenes in which they come off the worse for wear. Of course, with the track record of Jaoui and Bacri - before this they wrote and starred in On Connait le Chanson and Un air de famille - you expect only the finest and that is what they deliver here, even Bacri's character name, Castella, has overtones of Bob Castella, the great pianist-composer who was, for decades, the accompanist for Yves Montand. I can only guess whether any homage was intended but whether or not it is just another bonus to an unforgettable film. This was Jaoui's debut as director and her second effort (working title: Comme d'un Image, is now in the Cutting Room. She's gonna have a tough time eclipsing this one but if she DOES ... 10/10
Yes, it is a great film. Not all the directors achieve to combine well the stories. "The Taste of others" must be a model from this point of view. It has moved me to buy and read again Ibsen's "Hedda Gabbler". A good comedy, plenty of touching moments. 9 points and the Oscar for this little French jewel.
A slice of potentially real French life, elegantly portrayed with the believable people ('characters' is the wrong word) being eminently watchable. It's a witty comedy that plays as a tragedy. The excellent screenplay reveals itself hesitantly, but that is the charm. The audience joins the story in the middle and leaves it before the end. The subtle everyday conflict of clashing tastes born of different beliefs - and no few prejudices - may seem rather boring plot compared with the latest Hollywood caper, but it leaves a magnificent impression of social relevance. And if you have not experienced the culture of everyday France, pay attention to the focal point the cafe takes. A word of praise to the two main architects: co-author (Agnes Jaoui) who directs herself as the barmaid (Manie) and her coauthor (Jean-Pierre Bacri) who writes himself the somewhat awful role of Castella. I must look out for their other works.
This debut for Jaoui (playing the role of Manie) as a director is a great comedy. Hilarious, but not over the top. 'Le Goût des Autres' has some very sharp dialogues filled with subtle jokes and delivered by a perfect cast. It was no surprise to learn afterwards that the same screenwriters wrote the script for 'Un Air de Famille' by Cedric Klapisch, another French comedy at its best. But this one is without a doubt one of the most enjoyable movies of the year. A well deserved Oscar-nominee for 'best foreign language film'.
This French film is wonderfully scripted. Human and endearing. Two love stories are mirrored in this delightful movie. The boss of a manufacturing plant is wealthy but uncultured. He falls for an English teacher and a stage actress who thinks he is shallow and stupid. Meanwhile his bodyguard who is a former policeman has a love affair that must fail because the woman he is with is also a drug dealer. The script is serious and funny, the performances are tight and the direction, editing, music and cinematography all perfectly complimentary.
This delicious film tells us, that sometimes we judge people for what we
expect them to be but we don't give ourselves a chance to get to know who
they really are. I thought this was a very simple and deep film at the same
time, because through a very simple story it deals with the complicated
human nature: our insecurities, our lack of acceptance of ourselves, trying
to adjust to the way other people want us to be.
Castella is an uncultured but rich business man attracted to his bohemian english teacher,Clara. She's an actress in her 40's looking for a fit companion. She doesn't even consider him and rejects him in his many efforts to win her love. He tries to fit in her circle but is made fun of because of his lack of arts knowledge. At the same time he deals with a very self-centered and shallow wife. So his life seems very empty, while his driver and bodyguard deal with love issues of their own.
I give it a 9/10.
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