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The Taste Of Others  

Directed by: Agnes Jaoui

The French film "The Taste of Others" primarily revolves around five characters: a businessman, his chauffer, his bodyguard, an actress and a waitress. Castella, the businessman, has a lucrative company, but is not a cultured man. Clara, the actress, is his English tutor and dismisses Castella's crush on her. The chauffeur, the waitress and the bodyguard all have relationship problems that they try to resolve. All these characters' stories intersect, and the film is like "Short Cuts" meets "You Can Count on Me".


The Taste of Others" has just been nominated for an Academy Award (Best Foreign Language Film) and has also won the Cesar Award (French version of the Oscars) for Best Picture. Even with all these accolades, I don't understand why this film is receiving such attention. I thought it was an average movie.

I have a lot of patience when it comes to watching a film, and I really don't mind slow movies. In fact some of my all time favorites are slow films, yet I found myself somewhat bored with the first half of "The Taste of Others". The first hour was very uneven, and it was hard to get into the story when the characters are uninteresting. The stories concerning the chauffeur, the bodyguard and the waitress needed more work as they seemed stale. The only story that I really followed was the one between the businessman and the actress. Their scenes brought life and humor into the film, and I have to say that Anne Alvaro is endearing as the actress. She reminded me a lot of Lily Tomlin.

The second half made up for the sluggish first, and all the pieces finally fell into place, but all this comes a bit too late for a full recommendation.


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