Cooking up a storm with The Pot-au-Feu


Trần Anh Hùng invites you to feast your eyes on La Passion de Dodin Bouffant (The Pot-au-Feu), in Competition. The French-Vietnamese director is back in Cannes, where he made his name with his first feature film Mùi đu đủ xanh (The Scent of Green Papaya) winner of the Camera d’Or in 1993.

Eugénie and Dodin share a long history of gastronomy, and love. While emotions remain contained, the culinary discoveries are, on the other hand, breathtakingly exquisite. The only hitch is that Eugénie refuses to marry Dodin. So the food lover decides to do something he has never done before: cook for her.

For The Pot-au-Feu, Trần Anh Hùng set himself the challenge of filming cuisine in an unprecedented way. The director called on Pierre Gagnaire to prepare the food before filming, and there were no fake dishes on set, unlike most films on this topic. Successfully capturing the preparation of dishes required unrelenting discipline from technical teams, bound to almost choreographic movements.

In the kitchen, Juliette Binoche, Benoît Magimel and the rest of the cast had a hard time resisting the culinary delights, as Trần Anh Hùng explains: “The actors would get carried away. When I said “Cut!” in a meal scene, they kept on eating. The props team had to beg them to give the plates back.”

Director and screenwriter Trần Anh Hùng adapted Marcel Rouff’s novel La Vie et la Passion de Dodin-Bouffant, gourmet. But unlike the book, which tells the story after Eugenie’s death, the film imagines the relationship between the protagonists during their lifetime, their conjugality, subtly expressed in this understated work.