Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
Original title: Shekvarebuli Kulinaris Ataserti Retsepti
France/Georgia/Ukraine/Belgium, 1996. Les Films du Rivage, La Sept Cinema, Studio Adam&Eve, Studio Babelsberg, Sotra, Innova Film, C.M.C., European Script Fund, Centre National De La Cinematographie, Canal+. Screenplay by Irakli Kvirikadze, adaptation and dialogue by Andre Graill. Cinematography by Giorgi Beridze. Produced by Marc Ruscart. Music by Goran Bregovic. Production Design by Teimuraz Khmaladze, Vakhtang Rurua. Costume Design by Larissa Djordjadze. Film Editing by Guili Grigoriani, Vessela Martschewski.
Deliciously enjoyable romance about a Parisian chef travelling through 1930s Georgia (the former USSR, not the American state) in search of local cuisine for his book on the same subject. While there he falls in love with the food, the people, the land and, in particular, the beautiful deposed princess who is his constant companion. He opens up a restaurant in the big city, but is humbled by the circumstances of communism on the rise, his workplace is taken over by comrades needing a station. Despite the danger to his life, he refuses to leave what he believes is rightfully his, even at the risk of losing his lady love forever. Sexy and fun at times, its more touching moments hit home every step of the way thanks to assured direction and exceptional characters.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Foreign Language Film