Romantic frustration is the common thread that ties together a piquant assembly of interconnected but quite divergent lives in "The Taste of Others," a deft, distinctive and personal multi-character dramedy from France.
Nominated for nine César Awards and this year's Best Foreign Film Oscar, this simple yet manifold film was co-written and directed by a César favorite, actress-screenwriter Agnés Jaoui, who also plays a pivotal role in the film as a bartender at the pub where all the film's stories converge.
Although it is a balanced and equally penetrating ensemble piece, if "The Taste of Others" has a primary character, it would be Castella (Jean-Pierre Barci, Jaoui's husband), an irritable middle-aged businessman in the manufacturing trade whose business negotiations with an Iranian company have forced several changes into his static life. His insurance company has insisted he hire a bodyguard and he's reluctantly agreed to take English lessons so he can more effectively communicate with his international partners.
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