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The filmmakers deliberately don’t choose for a familiar feelgood narrative yet Délicieux suffers from a strange lack of subtlety.

If Délicieux were a three-course meal I'd say the entrée shows promise and the main course could use a lot more seasoning but at least the dessert makes sure you leave the table feeling you've had some decent food.

Set in a provincial hamlet on the eve of the French Revolution Délicieux sees a proud cook regaining his love for food, life and love after he's been dismissed by his aristocratic employer. While I'd give kudos to the filmmakers for not choosing a familiar, feelgood narrative for the film, the slow burn does drag down the middle section and the actions and motives of the main characters are at times handled with a strange lack of subtlety.

Luckily the tedious patches are made more bearable by sumptuous production design and by delicious shots of partridges, pies and potato dishes that will have any foodie salivating. But as said before, Délicieux's flaws are saved mostly by an ending that gives sardonic purpose to everything you have seen before and leaves you with a giddy, contented smile on your face.

release: 2021

director: Eric Besnard

starring: Grégory Gadebois, Isabelle Carré, Benjamin Lavernhe, Guillaume de Tonquédec


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