Tasty enough, but dull in parts
STEP UP TO THE PLATE
IF YOU'VE never thought of cooking as an art form, you might reconsider after seeing famed chef Michel Bras and his son Sebastien in the kitchen of their three-star restaurant in the south of France, which rates three stars in the Michelin guide.
Approaching the empty plate like painters at a blank canvas, they build up dishes one ingredient at a time, agonising over every nuance of flavour and texture.
Paul Lacoste's documentary combines so-called ''food porn'' with a touch of family soap opera, as Michel prepares to hand over the day-to-day running of the business to his son.
Happily for them if not for the audience, any potential drama is never brought to the boil. Michel and Sebastien seem equally passionate about their profession and share an enviably close working relationship, although it's clear that neither likes to let the other have the last word.
Some questions are left open-ended. How do the Bras women truly feel about the obsessive dedication of their men?
And will Sebastien's young son someday take over the business in turn - or would he prefer to do something else, such as playing the drums?
There are dull patches, particularly when we see Sebastien and Michel off-duty - neither has the kind of personality that jumps off the screen. It's the same problem that came up in the recent Anton Corbijn: Inside Out: anyone can make an observational documentary about an oddball, but it takes a rare talent to find the cinematic value in solid hard work.