The film Entre Les Bras, which was released in France in March and Germany in August, has now come to the U.S. It's in French with English subtitles and it tells the story of Michel Bras, one of the most influential chefs in the world, who has decided to hand over his renowned Michelin three-star restaurant to his son Sébastien. Having worked with his father for 15 years, Sébastien is ready. But turns out it’s not so easy to take over the family business when your father is, well, Michel Bras...one of just 26 chefs in France currently holding Michelin's highest accolade. Filmed in Laguiole in the gorgeous Aubrac region of the South of France, home to the Bras family for generations, Step Up To The Plate (as the it's titled for the U.S. market), offers ''a rare glimpse into the Bras’ culinary process while capturing one of the most closely watched transitions in haute cuisine.'' The film has been selected for more than 30 film festivals worldwide to date.
Director Paul Lacoste has taught film directing for 15 years in Toulouse and at the same time, has directed shorts and medium-length works of fiction. In 2010, he wrote a play about religion and family, directed it, and adapted it for the cinema under the title Les Eaux Fortes. As an amateur cook and lifelong fan of Michel Bras’ cuisine, Lacoste asked the legendary chef if he could make ''a film portrait'' of him when he received his third Michelin star in 1999. This marked the start of a documentary series about nine major French chefs called Inventing Cuisine. In 2010, Lacoste approached Michel and Sébastien with the idea of a feature-length documentary--his first--about the handing-over of the restaurant. To make Step Up to the Plate, Lacoste trailed father and son for a year and edited it into four chapters: Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring.
The New Yorkerpraised the movie as ''an intimate and immaculate film'' while the New York Times said ''If Step Up to the Plate were fiction, its players would deserve an award for best ensemble performance.'' Another review, in the Washington Post, is here.
The movie opened in New York a few weeks ago and is now working its way across the U.S.; it already came out in Taiwan and Spain and will also be coming to Canada soon. To see a list of U.S. cities and release dates, click here; more cities are being added so check back. (Unfortunately neither the U.S. nor the French distributor has info about the film's release date in other countries.) But for more on the film, check out the website and trailer or the Facebook page.
Above: Posters for the U.S. and French version of the film.