The Pot-au-Feu

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In a film that will catch the interest of both the food lover and the romantic, we meet the cooks Dodin Bouffant and Eugéne in their culinary partnership in the French countryside – and in their long love for each other.

The Pot-au-feu tells the story of the renowned cook Dodin Bouffant who in an idyllic French countryside at the end of the 19th century cooks the most unbelievable French dishes for himself and his high-society friends. With him, he has the cook Eugénie (Juliette Binoche) whom he has worked with for over 20 years.

Dodin and Eugénie's relationship is not just professional, however, and early in the film, we are told that Dodin has proposed to Eugénie many times without ever having gotten a yes from Eugénie. Eugénie's refusal to marry Dodin seemingly rests on the fact that she wants to protect the professional partnership the two have upheld over the years, although it is clear that there is real love between the two cooks. At the same time, there are signs of health issues for Eugénie, which risks complicating things further. 

The film offers warm, vivid scenes where the two cooks prepare a large assortment of French dishes together with two young assistants. In the opening sequence of the film, the viewer gets to experience the cooking process uninterrupted from preparation to serving, in something that feels like a choreographed dance as the main characters flow between the cutting boards and the casseroles. This is a film for the food lover, but beneath the many cooking scenes, there is also an observant exploration of the love between the two main characters, Eugéne and Dodin. 

The Pot-au-feu is a romantic, patient and rustic film about two the love between two people who have worked and cooked together side by side over many years. There is also something mystical in the way the film patiently shows the cooking processes, a mysticism that may also reflect a great love like the one that Eugéne and Dodin share themselves. 


Tran Anh Hung is a French-Vietnamise screenwriter and film director. He was born in Vietnam but emigrated to France when he was twelve. After having directed several short films, he debuted with his first feature film, the drama The Scent of Green Papaya, which was nominated for an Oscar for best international feature film and won two awards at the film festival in Cannes. He has later directed critically acclaimed films like Cyclo and Norwegian Wood. The Pot-au-Feu is Hung's seventh feature film.


2016 Eternity
2010 Norwegian Wood
2000 The Vertical Ray of the Sun
1995 Cyclo
1993 The Scent of Green Papaya

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