France picks director Tran Anh Hung's film for Oscars

The film The Taste of Things, directed by French-Vietnamese filmmaker Tran Anh Hung, was selected by the French Oscar Committee to represent French cinema at the Oscars for the international feature film race.
France picks director Tran Anh Hung's film for Oscars
Scene from the movie "The Taste of Things" directed by Tran Anh Hung. (Photo: Variety)

This is a surprise because along with The Taste of Things, there is also another "strong" candidate, Anatomy of a Fall - Justine Triet’s Palme d’Or-winning film.

The Taste of Things (previously titled The Pot-au-Feu) won best director at Cannes, for filmmaker Tran Anh Hung. Starring Juliette Binoche and Benoit Magimel, the period movie was bought by IFC Films and Sapan Studios.

Anatomy of a Fall, meanwhile, was acquired by Neon, the Oscar-maker behind “Parasite,” at Cannes. The movie has been thriving at the French box office,with approximately 8 million euros grossed from nearly 1 million admissions. It’s one of the biggest B.O. scores for a Palme d’Or-winning film in France,in years.

Neon will release Anatomy of a Fall in the U.S. on Oct. 13 and is still committed to giving it a full Oscar push. It’s expected to campaign for it in multiple categories, including best picture, actress, director and screenplay.

The Taste of Things is a French period movie set in 1885. It follows the life of Dodin Bouffant (Magimel), a preeminent chef who has been living with his personal cook and lover Eugénie (Binoche), for over two decades.

Growing fonder of one another, their bond turns into a romance and gives rise to delicious dishes, that impress even the world’s most illustrious chefs. When Eugénie appears reluctant to marry Dodin, he decides to do something he has never done before, cook for her. The movie was co-produced by Gaumont, which sold it in international markets.

Other films that were pre-selected by the French committee included Clement Cogitore’s Sons of Ramses; Thomas Cailley’s supernatural coming-of-age drama The Animal Kingdom; and Denis Imbert’s On The Wandering Paths. The Animal Kingdom was bought by Magnolia’s Magnet.

The Taste of Things has not yet been released. It is expected that Gaumont will release the film in France, on November 8.

Born in 1962 in Da Nang, Tran Anh Hung has affirmed his reputation in European and international cinema. He has established himself as the Vietnamese-born film director to win the most international awards so far.

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