Too Much Style, No Substance: Our Review of ‘The Quest of Alain Ducasse’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - June 08, 2018
Too Much Style, No Substance: Our Review of ‘The Quest of Alain Ducasse’

There are certainly plenty of people out there who work as chefs and think that they are foodies but then there are those few who really take it to the next level…

The Quest of Alain Ducasse is interesting but also way more self involved then is palatable because while the quest for foodie perfection is at least interesting and watching someone travelling the world trying to find new ways of tasting food and crafting fresh gastronomic experiences is so decedent and kind of juvenile to watch unfold.  It’s basically useless self entitlement on a cinematic level.

With 23 restaurants worldwide and 18 Michelin stars, Alain Ducasse fearlessly continues creating trendy new places, building schools, writing books and launching major projects.  In agreeing to be followed for two years by director Gilles de Maistre, we get a glimpse into the obsession of the quest for perfection, in making perfect meals for all walks of life.

While I’ll admittedly take a little pleasure being a fly on the wall watching someone who truly is at the top of his game constantly looking to improve his craft and do better, not only for himself but for others as well, but this film is a pure exercise in self aggrandizing wankery.  There’s no sense of scale or balance in this film, it’s just a promotional piece, a pretty one to be sure, but a vacuous film in every sense of the word.  The film never makes an effort into giving Ducasse as a subject any kind of depth or attempt to make him interesting on anything more than just a surface level.  OK he’s opened fancy restaurants, won Michelin stars, done charitable works and likes to eat all over the world, but we never once really give a shit and what’s worse is that the film never really wants us to.

The Quest of Alain Ducasse isn’t a bad film by any stretch of the imagination…because it’s barely a film to begin with.  If you come to this looking for insight from one of the world’s most famous chefs or even for some interesting recipes from the man himself, you will be left horribly wanting as this is nothing more than an 80+ minute promotional film that you could feel yourself forced into watching while waiting to be seated in one of his restaurants.

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David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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