Deliciousand King Richardsound at first to be very familiar fare. The first is a French period comedy-drama set in the world of food, the second a Hollywood biopic about the struggle to succeed against all odds, yet each is rather more unique than that might make them sound.
The French film initially promises to be one of those films in which the story is garnished with lavish montages of food being prepared and devoured – I’m thinking of the likes of Babette’s Feast; Eat Drink, Man Woman; and The Scent of Green Papaya.
But these examples, while all featuring sequences designed to make viewers salivate, were on close inspection quite different from one another and if they all earned their admirers, it was in part because they were never just about cuisine. They all had an engaging human story at their centre, as does this gentle comedy-drama from co-writer and director Eric Besnard, set shortly before the French revolution, when the peasants were starving and the aristocracy bloated from excess in everything, from the height of their wigs to their obscenely lavish banquets.
Our hero, Manceron (Grégory Gadebois), a master chef...