Paul Strabbing
September 25, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

In Kings of Pastry, The War Room documentarians Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker trail 16 French pastry chefs in Lyon as they compete for the national glory of being named one of the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France — awards for artisanal excellence handed out by the president of France. (Other categories include lute making and taxidermy.) It’s a good bet any cocky contestant on Top Chef would keel over from the rigors of the challenge, the rituals of which are treated with fervent concentration by these meticulous artistes with their piping bags and spun-sugar sculptures. B

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