France has officially selected “The Taste of Things” as its Oscars submission for Best International Feature at the 2024 Academy Awards in what may be a surprise for some following the race.
“The Taste of Things” (IFC Films stateside) debuted at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, where filmmaker Trần Anh Hùng won the Best Director prize. But the French selection committee could’ve gone with the actual 2023 Cannes Palme d’Or winner, Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of Fall,” which has a better chance crossing over into other Oscars categories. That includes for lead actress contender Sandra Hüller, who also stars in the U.K.’s International submission, “The Zone of Interest.”
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Smart crowdpleaser “The Taste of Things,” titled “The Pot-au-Feu” back at Cannes, stars Juliette Binoche and Benoît Magimel as two chefs who are lovers across 20 years in the 19th century. The film is an adaptation of Marcel Rouffe’s 1924 novel “The Passionate Epicure,” with director Hùng writing the script. Hùng previously made history as the first Vietnamese nominee for Best International Feature with 1993’s “The Scent of Green Papaya.”
Neon will make a full Oscar push for “Anatomy of a Fall” this season, with Hüller in the mix as a writer coming apart from her marriage in the wake of her husband’s mysterious death. It’s also a screenplay contender for director/co-writer Triet and co-writer Arthur Harari. Still, both “Anatomy” and “Taste of Things” emerged as cinephile appointment viewing out of Cannes.
Other films on the French committee’s shortlist included Clement Cogitore’s “Sons of Ramses;” Thomas Cailley’s “The Animal Kingdom”; and Denis Imbert’s “On The Wandering Paths.” Committee members included Charles Gillibert (“Annette”), former Lionsgate boss Patrick Wachsberger, composer Alexandre Desplat, plus filmmakers Olivier Assayas and Mounia Meddour, and sales agents Sabine Chemaly and Tanja Meissner.
France has not been nominated at the Oscars since 2019’s “Les Misérables”; the country made the shortlist last year for “Saint Omer.”
See IndieWire’s full international feature film predictions so far here.
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