A good year for women on film, as exemplified in new releases The Eyes of My Mother, Miss Sloane, and more
Matthew Lickona 5 p.m., Dec. 9
Lovely but slight, Haute Cuisine tells the (based on a true) story of a country chef — played with ease, energy, and middle-aged grace by Catherine Frot — who became personal chef to the president of France, all because she knew how to cook with the simple elegance of his grandmother. The film opens as she's finishing up a year cooking for a research team in Antarctica, and teases the viewer with the notion that she's in exile, self-imposed or otherwise. What sent her from the presidential palace? A culinary disaster? Bureaucratic bean counters? Stingy dieticians? Jealous rivals in the kitchen? What crisis could have forced her to live and work so far from the bounty of *la belle* France? The answer will almost certainly disappoint. But if the drama collapses like a bad souffle, most everything else — photography, performance, mood — is delectable. 2012.