Les Troisgros pleasure menus: to be enjoyed without moderation!  (critical)

Les Troisgros pleasure menus: to be enjoyed without moderation! (critical)

Veteran of American documentary cinema, Frederick Wiseman, 93, is back in great form with this film about a Michelin-starred French restaurant near Lyon…

If Frederick Wiseman has repeatedly shown his talent for filming political institutions (Welfare, City Hall…), he proves with Pleasure Menus that his documentary method is unstoppable, whatever the field. Because by tackling the Troisgros house, three Michelin stars and taken over from generation to generation by the same family, the documentary filmmaker films the restoration in the same way as a hospital or a town hall, that is to say from so as to reveal its concrete functioning through the montage of majestic sequence shots. But the particularity of this Pleasure Menus consists precisely of having fun by showing the refinement of this restaurant, a feeling perhaps unprecedented in this vast filmography where it is especially illustrated by its critical views pointing out major dysfunctions.

The food is filmed with incredible fluidity throughout its journey from its picking to its arrival at the customers’ table, via the cellars and the kitchens. “He directs without raising his voice, with his eye and gesture,” explains Michel Troisgros, the father, speaking of his son who took over the map after him. In this establishment with large glass windows and no hoods in the kitchens, we are allowed to see everything, and especially the management that makes this business possible: employees are treated like members of the family, we ensure that everything everyone feels good at the Troisgros. In short, we come away from the film like a meal at one of their tables: very full, but oh so satisfied.

Nicholas Moreno

Of Frederick Wiseman. Documentary. Duration: 3h58. Released December 20, 2023

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