The Taste Of Others

Actress and screenwriter Agnes Jaoui makes her directorial debut with this poignant 2000 comedy about the difficulties of getting beyond one’s own social circle. The film’s main triumph is Jean-Pierre Bacri’s wonderfully touching and delicately shaded performance as a married businessman living in a suburb of Rouen who becomes infatuated with his English tutor (Anne Alvaro), a stage actress turning 40 who lives in a world very different from his. Jaoui herself plays a waitress-barmaid who moonlights as a hash dealer and becomes involved with the businessman’s bodyguard. She’s quite sensitive as a director of actors, though the fact that she cites Woody Allen as a model shows how much she thinks as a writer-performer. The script, by her and Bacri, is one in a series of collaborations that includes Cedric Klapisch’s Un air de famille and Alain Resnais’ Same Old Song. In French with subtitles. 112 min. (JR)

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