If watching grown men burst into tears over a tart that can ruin their lives is your idea of fun, then this is the movie for you.
This truly captivating movie from award winning filmmakers D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegadus (‘The War Room’ ‘Moon Over Broadway’) follows three Pastry Chefs as they go into training to prepare for an extremely stressful three-day somewhat scary competition that looks more grueling than the Tour De France. It’s all about the ultimate recognition of their profession of winning one of the highly privileged collars awarded to the winners of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman in France). They do of course have to create far more than tarts and the seemingly endless list of confectionery culinary masterpieces they are required to make includes delicate chocolates to precarious six foot sugar sculptures that could easily end up being their downfall.
Right up to the competition, which is only held every four years, it is obvious that this is not just a dream and ambition but an absolute obsession of all the Chefs taking part. As well as their extraordinary skills and passion, they need nerves as steel…. as did I just watching as I ended up a total nervous wreck worrying if they, and their delicate sculptures, would end the day in one piece.
Nail biting to the very end, but I wouldn’t have missed it even for the very large chocolate gateau I was gagging for by the end. My tip for a successful viewing of this movie is eat first and then ensure you have a large bottle of vodka (or whatever) to steady your nerves.
P.S. And if you had thought from my opening paragraph that I was referring to the other kind of tarts that have no morals and wear short skirts, then you would have been in good company. I mean why else did President Sarkozy turn up at the end to present the Awards, because we know that he’s not known to hang around bakeries!