Projections - Movie Reviews

The Taste of Others The Taste of Others

France's official Oscar entry directed and co-written by Anges Jaoui is a wonderful romantic comedy, clever in its finely sketched narrative on the art of social observation.  Thriving on what can be comedic when those who occupy different groups come into contact - and there is much irony that is pleasing.

Jaoui brings us to a French suburb where a variety of social types become involved as friends and lovers.  Her protagonist is Castella (Jean-Pierre Bacri), an accomplished businessman.  He is in a mid-life crisis and pulled down by a marriage to a menstrual woman and a banal job.  When he sees a play his daughter is in, he becomes enamored by the lead actress, Anne Alvaro's Clara, a cultivated lady who just happens to be his new English language tutor.  Clara becomes his secret amour.

The churlish businessman attends the next two evening performances and follows the local thespian and is derided tactfully by her friends as a silly romantic.  Yet after awhile Clara begins to be drawn to him as he projects some sensitivity.

In The Taste of Others, the way Jaoui negotiates the milieus of her diverse distinctive cast is top-notch with much lightness found within relationships.  The droll differing perceptions between those involved adds up to a French comedy which pleasantly isn't predicated on wrapping things up in a neat package.

Though this subtle comedy is admirable not only for its assured traits of those who see a need to examine not so sensational lives on the basis of whose existence they enjoin, it goes to show that love can be so unexpectedly nearby even in this creative collision of social strata that doesn't patronize the bourgeois from the noble.

The Taste of Others

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