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Kings of Pastry 

An inside look at the top-tier of pastry chefs

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Documentarians D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus (The War Room) turn their cameras on the very serious pursuit of French pastry, following three chefs as they prepare for and compete in the three-day contest for the coveted Meilleur Ouvrier de France medal. The filmmakers employ their stripped-down doc style, and I'd have liked a little more general exposition. (Can only French guys compete? Why is this contest held in a tent?) On the upside, we're right in the kitchens as the chefs sweat their way through nightmarish tasks, such as constructing massive (and very fragile) sugar sculptures. Viewers more familiar with the slick stylings of Top Chef and its ilk may find the contestants (two of whom I had trouble keeping straight) somewhat bland and the pace slow. But the patient will be rewarded with one moment of gasp-aloud shattering drama. In English, and French, with subtitles. Starts Fri., Dec. 10. Harris

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