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A Matter of Taste (2000)
"Une affaire de goût" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,349 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 22 user | 14 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

Nicolas, a handsome, young waiter, is befriended by Frédéric Delamont, a wealthy middle-aged businessman. Delamont, a man of power, influence and strictly refined tastes, is immediately ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bernard Giraudeau ...
Frédéric Delamont
Jean-Pierre Lorit ...
Nicolas Rivière
Florence Thomassin ...
Béatrice
...
René Rousset
...
Le juge d'instruction
Artus de Penguern ...
Flavert
Laurent Spielvogel ...
Doctor Rossignon
Elisabeth Macocco ...
Caroline
Anne-Marie Philipe ...
Doctor Ferrières
Delphine Zingg ...
Nathalie
David D'Ingeo ...
Marco
Frédéric De Goldfiem ...
Félix
Patrick Zimmermann ...
Frédéric's Chauffeur
Claude Lesko ...
Frédéric's Head of Security
Vincent Tepernowski ...
Second Taster
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Storyline

Nicolas, a handsome, young waiter, is befriended by Frédéric Delamont, a wealthy middle-aged businessman. Delamont, a man of power, influence and strictly refined tastes, is immediately smitten by Nicolas' charm. Lonely and phobic, Delamont offers Nicolas a lucrative job as his personal food taster. In spite of their differences, a close friendship begins to emerge between the two men. However, their bond of trust and admiration soon spirals downward into a dangerous game of deceit and obsession for which neither is prepared. Written by Attitude Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Seduction comes in many forms...

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Crime | Thriller | Drama

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Release Date:

26 April 2000 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Matter of Taste  »

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1.85 : 1
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Soundtracks

Nisi dominus, RV. 608: 5. Sicut sagittae in manu potentis (Allegro)
Composed by Antonio Vivaldi
Performed by James Bowman (counter-tenor) with The Academy of Ancient Music
Conducted by Christopher Hogwood
Produced by Peter Wadland
(P) 1975 L'Oiseau-Lyre/Decca
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User Reviews

An unusual take on a controversial subject

Bernard Rapp's "Une affaire de gout" has an unusual take on the controversial and sensational subject of homosexual love and passion:the leitmotif is food and the eroticism is more on the psychological than on the physical side.

A big-shot businessman employs a young and good-looking waiter to be his "taste-tester," as he is extremely meticulous when it comes to food quality, suspects that someone might put his life on danger by poisoning him, and is particularly averse to cheese and fish.He pays the young man a hefty salary, shelters him in a nice and comfy mansion and subjects him to a rigorous "fasting" and "asceticism"---in the process, he becomes the businessman's most trusted and influential right-hand man.The young man is all too willing to let all this pass,as, according to him, he wants to be absorbed in the tycoon's "craziness."

In the course of the film, we learn that the tycoon harbors a deep-seated pain and trauma, for his father died of drowning brought about by a ship mishap as he was about to bring them home some "cheese" and when his body was found, it was discovered to have been eaten by "fish" (thus, the businessman's aversion to them).

Therefore, we may reasonably assume that by having his food tasted first by the young man, the businessman is seeking once again the approval and assurance of a father-figure (though admittedly much younger than him)---the things which he never had because of his father's untimely death.

Or, conversely, the wealthy man is trying to act out the role of a caring and concerned father to the guy, a kind of living up to the legacy of his late father so that his death may not be so much of a burden and a source of guilt for him.

But, as the relationship between the two men is pathological in nature, it reaches the point where the wealthy man starts insulting and eventually abandons among the rags the young man, culminating in a tragic event that, in a different mode and context, makes the former suffer the same fate as his father.

With this, "Une affaire de gout" feels like a case history by Freud or, in some respects, by Menninger, as the homoerotic element is subtly manifested in certain forms of behavior and action that the characters take, whether they're aware of it or not, and the instances wherein they injure themselves or suffer from certain kinds of organic illness suggest a form of self-destruction that they're covertly aiming at, both as a means of punishment (for some "guilty" and "immoral" act) and a source of pleasure (serving as an "outlet" for homoerotic impulses and cravings).

Well, I guess it's "a matter of taste" whether one can accept the film's revealing and disturbing premises or not.


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