Although it premiered last Wednesday, we’d like to give a shout-out to Kings of Pastry, the new documentary from Chris Hegedus and DA Pennebaker playing at Film Forum through September 28. While shows like Top Chef: Just Desserts, Ace of Cakes, and Wedding Cake Wars have given audiences some inking of the sweaty manual labor that goes into making pretty pastel things, Kings of Pastry takes it even further, going to France to look behind the scenes of a three-day pastry competition that ends with President Nicolas Sarkozy declaring one of the 16 competitors to be the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman in France). Grown men cry, cake is consumed, sugar is manipulated into alien forms, and Sarkozy displays his sinister charisma. It all makes Top Chef look like a Home Ec final, and provides lavish, definitive evidence that where pastry is concerned, the French do not fuck around.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 20, 2010