Dir : Bernard Rapp. France. 1999. 90 mins.

Prod Co : CDP, Le Studio Canal Plus, France 3 Cinema, CNC, Procirep. Domestic dist:

Pyramide. Int'l sales: Art Box/France Television Distribution, tel: (33) 1 44 25 01 62. Prods: Catherine Dussart, Chantal Perrin. Scr: Gilles Taurand, Bernard Rapp from Philippe Balland's novel Affaires de gout. DoP:Gerard de Battista. Prod des : Francois Comtet. Ed : Juliette Welfing. Mus: Jean-Philippe Goude. Main cast : Bernard Giraudeau, Jean-Piere Lorit, Florence Thomassin, Charles Berling, Jean-Pierre Leaud.

Four years after his first attempt behind the camera with Tire A Part (A Question Of Taste) journalist-TV presenter and producer Bernard Rapp returns to directing with a film adapted from Philippe Balland's eponymous novel. This time, the French critics have warmed to this alluring and thirst-quenching psychological drama which attracted 126,000 admissions on its first week on release beginning April 26.

Une Affaire De Gout tells the story of businessman Frederic Delamont (Giraudeau) who hires young Nicolas Riviere (Lorit) to be his private food taster, on-call 24 hours a day. What begins like a professional relationship turns into a nightmarish and dangerous game between the two men.

Despite a narrative which desperately wants to appear unconventional (the story is told from the end) and the mesmerising presence of Jean-Pierre Leaud, Une Affaire De Gout fails to take off. And despite an interesting script, written with the help of Andre Techine and Raoul Ruiz's screenwriter Gilles Taurand, Rapp does not succeed to give the plot and the characters' relationships the much needed Hitchcockian edge he is struggling to achieve.

However, supported by the national press and after scooping Cognac Festival's three top awards, Une Affaire De Gout should do reasonably well at the French box-office and stir modest admissions further afield.