The good news is that IFC Films and Sapan Studios, U.S. distributors of Tran Anh Hung‘s The Pot au Feu, have committed to a prestige Oscar campaign for the French foodie masterpiece, not just for Best International Feature (if and when it’s selected by France as its official nominee) but in all categories, including Best Picture.

This means it’ll open this year and not, as feared by HE, in the winter or early spring of ’24. From my perspective this is wonderful and gratifying news, as The Pot-au-Feu is still HE’s hands-down favorite film of the year.

For several weeks I’ve been sharing concerns that IFC and Saban might, God forbid, give The Pot au Feu the bum’s rush by opening it in the doldrums of early ’24, which is what IFC has done in the past with promising titles.

It is extremely heartening, to say the least, to learn otherwise, and that this Cannes-praised film might….do we dare to dream? …play Telluride and one or two other prestigious fall festivals…who knows?

I apologize for airing my pessimistic concerns, and I congratulate IFC and Saban for doing the right thing.

The bad news is that Tran Anh Hung‘s film has been retitled, according to Variety‘s Clayton Davis, as The Taste of Things. HE’s gut reaction: gaaahh!

IFC and Saban’s concern, obviously, is that U.S. audiences might find the original French title, which basically means meat and vegetable stew, meaningless or overly obscure.

The Taste of Things isn’t an awful title, but it sounds vaguely antiseptic and blanded down….like something that a whitebread PTA committee might have decided upon. It’s flat, lacking in flavor and aroma. It no longer sounds or feels like a film simmering in French culture, but like a gourmet cookbook that might have been written by the owner of a suburban restaurant in northern New Jersey or Westchester County.’

But overall this is excellent news, at least as far as IFC & Saban’s Oscar determinations are concerned.