The French Revolution as Dinner Theater

I can hardly remember what the American Revolution was about. This resulted in a constitution protecting landowners and a last-minute dog bone for the loud-mouthed plebs called the Bill of Rights. The Twittersphere was born, gun smoke was in the air. The first citizen to die for the new cause was arguably a newly freed black named (natch) Crispus Attucks. Growing up in Boston, I sold newspapers in front of the train station near the Old State House, where Crispus picked one up for the team.

I remember even less about the French Revolution between 1889 and 1899. Rolled head cheese. Marie Antoinette. Guy O Tines later played for Les Habs. I am told that chaos broke out in the Bastille when it was discovered that the Marquis de Sade – who wrote copiously about the “lust in his heart” with his head in the dungeon – had been transferred to another asylum. All the great smokers had something nice to say about de Sade – Michel Foucault, Camille Paglia, Susan Sontag. However, Michel Onfray was au contraire, mon frere, saying in Wikipedia that “to make Sade a hero is intellectually bizarre…” Robespierre. Antonin Artaud played Marat in the bathtub scene in a Theater of Cruelty production. My junior high French teacher was certainly part of the New Wave, a Truffault truffle worth sniffing for, and I sniffed, entranced by her every move as she performed Françoise Hardy’s “Tous les garçons et les filles.” Turntable laid – Even the scratches were sexy. I finally met this French teacher again in her new form, Feist, singing “1234”. I personally think it’s about time we stormed the stealing bastards. egalite! Brotherhood! Freedom!™.

All of this is, of course, a prelude – to something. I recently saw the French film Delicious (2021). It has to be. I really enjoyed it and I’ll tell you why. The cast, although unknown to me as I don’t watch many French films these days, was delightful. It was directed and co-written by Éric Besnard, perhaps known in the west for his work in the Jason Statham vehicle. anger of man (2021) Delicious Stars Grégory Gadebois as chef Pierre Manceron, who appeared as Charlie in a French version of Charlie Flowers of Algernon (“They also serve who only sweep and polish,” was the poster slogan, as I translated it.); Isabelle Carré as Louise, his kitchen hand and inspiration; Benjamin Lavernhe (The French Dispatch, 2021) as Le duc de Chamfort, gasbag and flaming asshole and one-man cause for a damn good revolution. It’s a fine tension set. They get on each other’s nerves and we feast on it. Got it?

It all begins in a pleasantly civil way. Chef Pierre has – as far as I’m concerned – prepared a feast for the ages. Exuberant splendor. details of the day. Meuniere on the Yinyang. This guy goes everywhere. Everyone seems happy with the food served. Lo and behold, someone doesn’t like the little off-menu freestyle potato dish. Qu’est-ce que c est? And the petty-bourgeois troops are getting busy. Some petty religious functionary haughtily takes offense at the liberty fries that died for his liberated tongue. And then this plate and that and that thrown away like porridge from Hugo. What used to be gastronomic fulfillment is now le esprit les miserables. The delicious dishes come to the floor. An apology is required. And as the IMDB storyline says:

France, 1789, just before the revolution. With the help of a surprising young woman, a chef fired by his master finds the strength to free himself from his position as a servant and opens his first restaurant.

Game on the bourgeoisie!

You’d think the Duke would just leave Pierre alone after humiliating him and making him regret ever having conjured up his feast, carefully choreographed for the viewer to make sure we pull out our iPhones and head for a decent French restaurant in the look near the theater . There follows the needless touch of her knee beside you; you show her the menu; She pulls you back a bit and silences you quite comfortably – you think her smile has a promise locked in the red lips. But no. The Duke is not done yet. He wants cat and mouse. The chef continues to cook lightly and thinks the Duke will eventually miss and rehire his palette friend. But no, he longs to be taken to the guillotine, to the prique.

A pretty unemployed woman (Louise) is at his door and wants to be his apprentice. He is unimpressed by her hands, which seem to have known little work, but she pushes, she kneads the work, and the work kneads her, she begs. She is mysterious. He’s fascinated. And then he’s horny. Then she rejects him without polishing him first. Then he really likes her – the whole spirit thing – integrity, honesty and genuine interest in his cooking-for-the-art attitude. She manages to get the pout off his face and hires her as an apprentice. Together they open a kind of rest area for hikers to and from Paris. Treats are made. Word gets around. Well, even the snobbish duke is smitten again and sends emissaries to have Pierre and Louise set up a splendour. They prepare a feast for him, sure that it will convince him to rehire him. The day comes in all its constructed glory. And the Prique Royale drives right by as if the roadside stop weren’t there. Such contempt!

And then it turns out that Louise, whom he has meanwhile tucked into a down bed with eider pillows, has something to hide. The chef doesn’t want to hear that. He goes, lalalalala, covers his ears. Tell her to fuck off. There’s more, but it’s getting into spoiler territory. Quick quiz, readers: what do you think happens next?

No, I liked the movie. This idea of ​​the “first” restaurant opening, dedicated to educating the senses of Hoi Polloi and Hootie Tootsies, both separate but equal tables, appealed to my taste buds and I loved the setting (outdoor tables) and the joy that comes from it all why. Shines bright like the fresh bread steaming to everyone’s delight. When you saw that they treated the poor and the soldiers and Moulin Rouge girls on the holidays the same as the thoroughbred bastards who would have to die in the coming revolution, it didn’t bring tears of caution to your eyes, dude Man?

Of course we now know how it went. But again, that would be a spoiler if I reminded you of what you already know. I watched the film twice. Tried it in French first, like a braggart. It reminded me–apropos of the yellow wet snow where a dogmatist with a bone of contention had been lately, while steam was still rising in question marks–of Mark Twain’s visit to France, as a young Yankee hayseed from Connecticut, and remarking on the bad Knowledge of local languages ​​and noticed that the waitress didn’t seem to know her own language when he was ordering from the menu. The lousy crepe wasn’t the pancake he ordered when he pointed to the picture and thought so. I think if you believe the simple premise that the story is a harbinger of bad class things to come, you might as well settle down alongside the pretty feminist mysticism you’re dealing with. Simone de Bourgeois, you murmur, her kneecap in your hand cup.

I would not say run to see it because it’s streamed. you will stumble But it might be fun to order some groceries from, say, Patisserie Chanson, and if you’re lucky Feist and her crew will show up at your door with the delivery and you’ve got a show before the movie – Un, deux, trois, quatre.

Highly recommended.

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