6.4/10
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Haute Cuisine (2012)

Les saveurs du Palais (original title)
Trailer
1:21 | Trailer
The story of Danièle Delpeuch and how she was appointed as the private chef for François Mitterrand.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Hortense Laborie
...
Nicolas Bauvois
Jean d'Ormesson ...
...
David Azoulay
Jean-Marc Roulot ...
Jean-Marc Luchet
Philippe Uchan ...
Coche-Dury
Laurent Poitrenaux ...
Jean-Michel Salomé
Hervé Pierre ...
Perrières (as Hervé Pierre sociétaire de la Comédie Française)
Brice Fournier ...
Pascal Lepiq
Roch Leibovici ...
Olivier Moncoulon
...
Le directeur de cabinet du préfet
...
La journaliste Mary
...
Le photographe John
Louis-Emmanuel Blanc ...
Arnaud Fremier
David Houri ...
David Epenot
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Storyline

Hortense Laborie is a celebrated chef living in the Perigord region. To her great surprise, the President of the Republic appoints her as his personal cook. She accepts reluctantly but once she has accepted her nomination, Hortense works her heart and soul to produce both a stylish and authentic cuisine. For a while, she manages to impose herself thanks to her sturdy character and despite the jealousies she arouses among the other chefs. For a while only, unfortunately for her and for... the President. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a Deliciously True Story. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language. | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 September 2012 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Bon appetit, Hr. President  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,387 (USA) (20 September 2013)

Gross:

$212,072 (USA) (25 October 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 129785 delivered on 23-7-2012. See more »

Soundtracks

Paroles paroles
Written by Leo Chiosso, Giancarlo Del Re and Gianni Ferrio
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User Reviews

 
A delicious movie
11 May 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

No one is going to nominate this as one of the 10 greatest movies of x. There is nothing cutting edge here, etc.

It is, however, an interesting story well told and very well acted, especially by Catherine Frot, who seems to do everything well. I've seen it twice now, and never once looked at my watch. It really holds you.

In part, of course, it is because it presents what is now, at least in part, a dying part of traditional French culture: a respect for food in all its potential richness, and a willingness to spend the time necessary to make and appreciate it. The meals that Hortense prepares aren't frou-frou. They don't, as the president says at one point, have little sugar roses on them. It's not how clever it looks.

It's how interesting the mixture of tastes are, an attention to taste and the freshness of ingredients that is necessary for those tastes, that French tradition holds to have been the gift of every good grandmother - NOT of expensive Parisian restaurants.

This could be compared to the wonderful but very American movie *Ratatouille*. Near the end of that, the evil food critic Anton Ego goes into ecstasy over a portion of ratatouille because it evokes the ratatouille that his mother used to make. A pretty simple dish. Not, granted, mac and cheese, but still, not complicated.

The dishes Hortense makes for le président, which repeatedly evoke memories of childhood, are NOT simple. They require both a lot of time and a lot of technique/knowledge regarding their preparation. That French grandmother did not make them in 15 minutes, but rather several hours, or even days for the preparation. It is, in short, a different vision of how grandmother spent her time, one that in each case is, I suspect, filtered through the values of the respective cultures. (TIME and KNOWLEDGE make for good food, vs. love makes for good food.)

I don't know if this all comes through in English subtitles. My copy of the film has no subtitles. But it's definitely worth a viewing. It didn't make me hungry - I can't imagine having access to such meals here in the U.S. - but it did emphasize that, even for a bunch of young Frenchmen such as those at the French base in Antarctica, there is still a respect for time and skill in food preparation that is one of the distinguishing hallmarks of French culture.


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