Ninety-three-year-old documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman has taken his camera from a correctional institution in “Titicut Follies” to East Bay university halls in “At Berkeley” and the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris in “La Danse.” Now, with his latest (and four-hour) nonfiction foray, he takes his camera inside a three-star Michelin restaurant in rural France for “Menus Plaisirs — Les Troisgrois.” The epic documentary portrait world premiered at the Venice Film Festival before heading to NYFF and will open theatrically next month. IndieWire shares the exclusive trailer below.
Wiseman’s 44th doc takes us to Central France and Troisgros, which has been owned and operated by the same family for four generations. Troisgros has been a destination for global gastronomes for decades, and it’s here that a passionate family of head chefs (father Michel and his two sons, César and Léo) take us on a sprawling tour of the menu’s ingredients, textures, colors, and flavors. We observe the culinary trio with their waitstaff, taking visits to produce farms and vineyards, and even as they head into an enormous “cheese cave” in pursuit of haute cuisine on the level of performance art. Wiseman patiently observes waitstaff meetings and other goings-on behind the scenes in his trademark observational style.
Wiseman’s last film wasn’t a documentary but in fact the fiction feature “A Couple,” about the wife of Leo Tolstoy. His previous documentary was 2020’s “City Hall,” a kaleidoscopic look at the municipal government in his hometown of Boston. He received an honorary Academy Award in 2016. Of his generous output, he told IndieWire last year, “I’m old. The fact that I can still work is great. It keeps my mind off the Grim Reaper. I have no desire to stop working. On the contrary: I hope to work even more.”
“Menus Plaisirs — Les Troisgros” premieres theatrically from Wiseman’s distributor Zipporah Films on November 22 at Film Forum in New York.