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Review: Step Up to the Plate

Paul Lacoste's French documentary
By GERALD PEARY  |  September 18, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

It's a corny American title for Paul Lacoste's French documentary, Entre les Bras, about the father-and-son chefs, Michel and Sébastien Bras, behind a Michelin three-star restaurant in the L'Aubrac region of France. Lacoste tells his story — about the uneasy retirement of the father, the ascendancy of the son — cinéma vérité style, which means unscripted intimacy but also moments when nothing dramatic is happening. We never see the restaurant when patrons are eating, an odd omission. The excitement is in the privileged times when we watch Bras fils obsessively piecing together an alchemic nouvelle cuisine dish: delicate, minimalist, extraordinarily imaginative. Is there anything here for the amateur chef? Sprinkle lime peelings onto milk-white ingredients: a verdant feast for the eye.

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