A Matter Of Taste

on August 31, 2001 by Bridget Byrne
This is a chic little movie, well-structured and good to look at, but as easy to shrug off as last season's fashion statement.

A cat-and-mouse, master-servant, individual-versus-corporate, love-hate tale of seductive entrapment, it could be called subtly obvious. Here, the power is centered in a slick tycoon with weird phobias, and the Everyman is a weak-willed waiter who believes his life will be better if he accepts a job as the boss man's food taster. But tasting is not nutritious. It doesn't pump the engine of life like proper eating. The young man is in essence having that life sucked out of him. A slave to absurd demands 24/7, how long can he take it?

The structure of the film--intercut with witness face-offs with a magistrate, portrayed by veteran French actor Jean-Pierre Leaud--makes the conclusion apparent from the start. But the director's confident style and the actors' arch sophisticated role-playing holds one's interest.

Bernard Giraudeau as the power-crazed businessman who dislikes cheese and fish, and Jean-Pierre Lorit as the power-hungry waiter forced to alter his palate, squirm and slide convincingly off each other in terms of nervous tension. Florence Thomassin is the waiter's girlfriend, disgusted by his willingness to be suborned and subordinated. As a girl who sells papers from a newsbooth, even when it's not entirely appropriate, she's just naturally chic. Same goes for the movie. Starring Bernard Giraudeau, Jean-Pierre Lorit, Florence Thomassin and Jean-Pierre Leaud. Directed by Bernard Rapp. Written by Gilles Taurand and Bernard Rapp. Produced by Catherine Dussart and Chantal Perrin. An Attitude Films release. Drama. French-language; subtitled. Unrated. Running time: 90 min.

Tags: Bernard Giraudeau, Jean-Pierre Lorit, Florence Thomassin, Jean-Pierre Leaud. Directed by Bernard Rapp. Written by Gilles Taurand and Bernard Rapp, Catherine Dussart, Chantal Perrin, Attitude Films, Drama

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