There comes a moment in a couple’s life when doubts arise regarding each other’s emotions. When questions emerge for Octave, a 76-year-old man, they will powerfully shake his 50 years of marriage with his wife Madeleine. The old man starts wondering what Brussel sprouts taste like and whether he still loves his wife or not.
Michaël Terraz’s ‘The Taste Of Brussel Sprouts’ explores the late years of marriage in a very original and humorous perspective. Fifty years of marriage are fifty years of adding up whims, fifty years of things that one has renounced at for the sake of their partner, fifty years of sharing the same moments together with maybe too little variation. Routine settles in and fifty years of ‘compromise’ might be one too many. All the things one has never got the chance to experience finally find their way to the surface.
Octave and Madeleine’s marriage is looked at under the eyeglass. Little things start looking big. Octave is actually looking to escape routine, to break free of the norm that assures the momentum of his marriage. The director triggers his character’s frustration with the help of a TV soap opera with two young protagonists living a tumultuous relationship. The taste of youth awakes Octave’s ‘appetite for life’ making him forget about his true condition.
The two TV stars are actually the archetype of the modern relationship which is no better than Octave’s marriage, but as it usually happens one is always looking for what his neighbour has, having grown bored with their own rooted habits.
Octave goes on a journey of revising his feelings for his wife and establishing his old-age priorities. Despite all those things he had never had the chance to try he had others to counterbalance – children, grandchildren and grand grand children as well, which can only be a proof of love and unity. Of course, Michaël Terraz tells his story in a much less graver tone, preferring to emphasise the silliness of the situation to the delight of the audience.
The acting is superb, especially that coming from Jean-Luc Bideau (playing the grumpy old man), adding a perfect amount of drama in parallel with the comedic tint and making the film feel artistically complete. ‘The Taste Of Brussel Sprouts’ was awarded Best TMFF Short Film Of November for its fine senses of sketching love in its last years: if the first fifty won’t tear you apart, nothing ever will.