Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
Original title: Mui du du xanh – L’Odeur de la Papaye Verte
Vietnam/France, 1993. Les Productions Lazennec, La SFP Cinema, La Sept Cinéma, Canal+, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Procirep, La Fondation Gan pour le Cinéma, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, Sacem. Screenplay by Tran Anh Hung. Cinematography by Benoit Delhomme. Produced by Christophe Rossignon. Music by Tiet Ton-That. Production Design by Alain Negre. Costume Design by Jean-Philippe Abril. Film Editing by Nicole Dedieu, Jean-Pierre Roques. Academy Awards 1993.
The first and so far only film from Vietnam to be nominated for an Academy Award as Best Foreign-Language film. A young girl grows up working in the kitchen of a famous composer, later adds becoming his lover to her list of duties around the house. Most of the film is spent in the kitchen as she and the rest of the kitchen staff come up with deliciously exotic meals that even just watching on screen you would swear you could actually smell. Don’t expect the zest of Like Water For Chocolate, for Papaya is a slow, methodical film with very little plot that mostly overcomes you with its strong imagery. The reactions of your senses will stay with you for a long time.