22 user 16 critic

A Matter of Taste (2000)

Une affaire de goût (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Thriller, Drama | 26 April 2000 (France)
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 »


Bernard Rapp

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4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »


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


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


Seduction comes in many forms...


Crime | Thriller | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

26 April 2000 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Matter of Taste See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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

A recruitment story.
17 October 2006 | by Roger PoirierSee all my reviews

Indeed, Une Affaire de Gout and another Bernard Rapp movie titled Tiré à Part share something in common. Both movies are strongly and quite realistically inspired by the trade of espionage. Not at all of the fantasy kind one can find in 007 movies, but of authentic dark and uncanny intrigues underlying an exciting visible side of the world of intelligence that, often, either owes little to commonly accepted realities, or is purposefully inspired by the most presentable historic examples. In other words, all those who feel attracted by the underground realm of espionage must first watch, among some other good movies on the subject, Une Affaire de Gout, and Tiré à Part.

To tell it straightforwardly, Une Affaire de Gout truly relates to a richly detailed recruitment process through classic Pavlovian methods. Just the real goals and aims are never explicitly and clearly explained, or even suggested, contrary to what is the case in other movies such as Spy Game, or The Recruit, or Nikita, or even Seconds, for example. That's the way things happen indeed in a middle that is constantly looking for burying all traces it can leave. Une Affaire de Gout and Tiré à Part are very close to the world of John le Carré and Graham Green, but in these cases neither the title nor the synopsis, nor even the official background of their author suggest us even a bit about. We don't know what is happening, and we really wonder what is going to happen next until the end. In an attempt to say what this movie resembles to, I hesitate between a Alfred Hitchcock and a good Colombo, though neither of these two examples apply. It's easy to feel uncomfortable while watching Une Affaire de Gout, though certainly not as with Seconds of John Frankenheimer.

Under the appearance of a surrealistic story, the purpose of the devilish Une Affaire de Gout is to show us how the unwilling and undocumented target of a Pavlovian experiment could understand and bear the absurd and weird events suddenly happening in is life? That's possibly the main purpose of this movie. In that case there is nothing that suggests what Nicolas Rivière, the target, was expected to do ultimately; nothing good to be sure, but a puppet whose fate is doomed, doubtless. The visible effects of the whole process are very close to those classic brainwashing can produce; but here, contrary to what happens to Michael Caine in The Ipcress File, Nicolas Riviere, the target, willingly submit to a transformation process, just because he is truly a weak and socially vulnerable person. It strikingly transforms him and gets him into abandoning his relatives, friends, girlfriend, and everything else belonging to his past life. As in the frame of any usual mind control process, the target must be isolated from any exterior influence and is compelled to get rid of all trace of self-esteem so as to be totally dependent of his master. An accomplice physician even poisons his preferred dishes so as to get him changing his tastes on food!

In exchange for his unconditional obedience, he seems to be well, but carefully, rewarded with goods that do not belong to him in title. From ill treated waiter in a restaurant to "adviser on taste" of a prominent businessman, the young Nicolas Rivière senses he is becoming overnight a Cindrella of a sort. It is made quite clear that all features of his "new life" may instantly disappear anytime were he chooses to stop going farther. So, Nicolas Rivière has no choice but to accept the unacceptable for not to return to his miserable life. In short, he is truly blackmailed, and compelled to submit to brainwashing.

Bernard Rapp, the French film director, purposefully managed to make the "stick and carrot" recurrent and conspicuous features all along the film. Also, spectators are expected to understand that all employees of Frédéric Delamont, the reckless and careless businessman, are all obedient accomplices in this plot. The collection of Japanese arms and armor of Nicolas Rivière that purposefully appear at some points certainly owe little to mere coincidence and seems to suggest a military background, but there is no other signs confirming it so as to stick to the general atmosphere filed with ambiguity. However, almighty Frédéric Delamont is mentally ill, doubtless, and suffers from antisocial disorder.

As predictable outcome, Nicolas Rivière looses progressively contact with the realities of life and gets psychologically lost and depressive. He finally lands into a psychiatric hospital for depressive disorder before killing symbolically his tormentor with his own Japanese arms. That's how the story ends, without any further explanation of any sort.

The French actors Bernard Giraudeau and Jean-Pierre Lorit respectively incarnate with brio the mad tormentor Frédéric Delamont and his victim Nicolas Rivière. The French touch is unmistakable in this movie though different from what French use to show us. This owes, I think, to the mastered know-how of the late Bernard Rap (deceased at 61 on August 17, 2006) and to his pronounced taste for the genre. Good French movies are rare nowadays. This one, as Tiré à Part alike, counts among exceptions that deserve to be seen across the Atlantic.

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