I saw two mediocre and uninspiring films on Wednesday, and a third on Thursday, hence my silence the last few days. The picture brightened considerably on Friday with A Matter of Taste and Autumn Gold.
A Matter of Taste (A+), I’m a foodie, pure and simple. I like to cook and I love good food. When we dine out, I ask to sit at the chef’s table, when it’s available, so I can watch what’s happening in the kitchen. It’s always fascinating.
This 68-minute film is like sitting in the kitchen of a fine restaurant. It documents the rise and fall, rise and fall, and rise again of star chef Paul Liebrandt, the youngest chef to receive three stars from The New York Times.
When he began in NYC, people either loved or hated his creations—colorful fusions of tastes and textures, traditional foods prepared in untraditional ways. The work is hard; the hours are long. But the results—like this film—just melt in your mouth.
Autumn Gold (A-), follows five European athletes as they talk about their sport and train for the 2009 World Masters track and field competition in Finland. What makes this an extraordinary sports film is that these athletes are between the ages of 83 and 100! In fact, two of them competed in the 1936 Olympics. Between shot puts, discus throws and sprints, they offer some wisdom about keeping a positive attitude and not slowing down. We left the theater inspired by their refusal to grow old.
Outside the Wire (C-), subtitled The Forgotten Children of Afghanistan is a documentary more about the filmmaker than it is about Afghan children. Disappointing.
The Orion (C+), pregnant student plus her cad of a boyfriend add up to a desperate situation for a young woman in traditionally Muslim Iran.
With Love, From the Age of Reason (B), described by my husband as a chocolate croissant–a light French pastry, this movie was the French version of Win/Win (see earlier blog posted 3/29/11, titled CIFF: Caterpillar, it’s a WOW!). In this version, a beautiful and successful businesswoman receives a bundle of letters she wrote to herself when she was seven. Through the letters she becomes disillusioned with her present life and seeks a way to become the woman her seven-year-old self vowed to be. Entertaining enough—it’s never too difficult to watch beautiful people do the right thing.