I join NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “NewsTalk Tonight” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the restaurant revenge movie “The Menu,” the Christmas musical “Spirited” and the feel-good “Fisherman’s Friends: One and All.”
Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to go to the mailbox! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the restaurant revenge movie “The Menu,” the Christmas musical “Spirited” and the feel-good “Fisherman’s Friends: One and All.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the restaurant revenge movie “The Menu,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “She Said,” the Christmas musical “Spirited” and the feel-good “Fisherman’s Friends: One and All.”
I sit in with CKTB morning show host Tim Denis to discuss the weekend’s flickers including the restaurant revenge movie “The Menu,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “She Said” and the Christmas musical “Spirited.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the restaurant revenge movie “The Menu,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “She Said,” the Christmas musical “Spirited” and the feel-good “Fisherman’s Friends: One and All.”
“The Menu,” a new dark comedy starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennes and now playing in theatres, pokes fun at the kind of pretentious restaurant experience where customers, willing to pay $1,250 a head for a tasting menu prepared by a famous chef, aren’t diners, but “ingredients in a degustation concept.”
Renowned Chef Slowik’s (Ralph Fiennes) farm-to-table restaurant Hawthorne, situated on its own, remote 12-acre island, is a hot ticket, seating only 12 people a night. The celebrity chef oversees a brigade of highly trained cooks who diligently create artfully composed haute cuisine plates with names bigger than the actual portion sizes. He’s the anti-Guy Fieri, a chef who thinks of food as an intellectual exercise rather than nourishment.
The guestlist for the night’s exclusive dinner is an eclectic grab bag of rich and famous folks. From a movie star (John Leguizamo) and a haughty food writer (Janet McTeer) and her editor (Paul Adelstein) to Anne and Richard (Judith Light and Reed Birney), a rich couple who have been regulars at the restaurant for years and a troika of obnoxious tech bro one percenters (Rob Yang, Mark St. Cyr and Arturo Castro) who toast to “work and money,” they are all under the spell of Chef Slowik. All except Margot (Taylor-Joy), the last-minute date of foodie and Slowik super-fan Tyler (Nicholas Hoult). “Slowik is not just a chef,” says Tyler breathlessly, “he’s a storyteller.”
There are rules to dining at Hawthorne. No photographs. “Chef strongly believes the beauty of the food lies in its ephemeral nature,” says the restaurant’s stern host Elsa (Hong Chau). Also, don’t eat. What? “Taste. Savor. Relish,” commands the chef. “Consider every morsel you place in your mouth. Do not eat. Our menu is too precious for that.”
In a bit of unintentional foreshadowing, Tyler scans the room and announces, “It’s official. Tonight will be madness.”
“The menu and the night,” the chef announces, “has been painstakingly planned.” Before each course Chef Slowik, who Margot sarcastically refers to as the Lord High Emperor of Sustenance, provides a flowery description of the food about to be served. As the evening wears on, chef’s descriptions become increasingly philosophical. Tensions rise in the room as the chef’s food reveals as much about the people eating it as it does about the chef’s intentions.
“The Menu” is for anyone who creates art—whether it is food, writing, paintings, whatever the form—and feels underappreciated. Slowik takes his delicious revenge on the patrons who “drained the mystery from my art” with their arrogance and entitlement, or worse, committing the cardinal sin of asking for a substation on one of his carefully constructed plates. He is done, he says, “trying to satisfy people who can’t be satisfied.”
Like the recent “Triangle of Sadness” the victims of the movie are oblivious, wealthy people who hide behind their wallets. The world, Slowik says, is divided into two groups, those who give—he and his service industry colleagues—and those who take. His elaborate menu is his gruesome retaliation on the latter.
A heaping helping of suspension of disbelief is required to enjoy the satire of “The Menu,” but by the time it makes its intentions clear, the film sates the appetite for dark comedy. It’s as subtle as fermented Surströmming (look it up) but this mix of horror and humor has more to offer than shock value. Food for thought on how art is consumed (literally in this case), it’s about the passion of the artist and what happens when it fades.
“The Menu” is buoyed by terrific performances, particularly from Fiennes as the perfectionist chef and Taylor-Joy as the pragmatic Margot, but most importantly, because all the characters are as sour as vinegar, you never quite know where the story is going. That unpredictability is exciting, leaving the characters, and the audience, walking on eggshells.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at Apple TV+’s epistolary docu-series “Dear…,” the Crave post-apocalyptic comedy “How It Ends” and the Disney+ Sebastian Stan horror comedy “Fresh.”
“Fresh,” a twisted new horror satire starring Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones and now streaming on Disney+, plays like a rom com as imagined by Hannibal Lecter.
Even after a particularly bad Tinder date, twenty-something singleton Noa (Edgar-Jones) is not willing to listen to her best friend Mollie (Jojo T. Jones) when she says, “You do not need a man.” She’s looking for love, and seems to have found it, in, of all places, in the produce-section of the local supermarket.
She meets cute with Steve (Stan), a handsome, funny cosmetic surgeon, who charms her into giving her his phone number, and then says, “I’m not going to text you… but I’ll really want to.”
Nonetheless, they arrange a date, and things get hot ‘n heavy “somewhere between the second and third drink.” They spark and wind up back at her place. The next day, after a meal and a dance, he says, “We should go somewhere. Somewhere nice. Maybe it will be a surprise.”
Noa, hungry for love, agrees to the weekend getaway, only to learn of her new boyfriend’s sick, deadly secret.
“Fresh” is darkly comedic and stomach churningly grim. It’s a Midnight Movie unafraid to take its deadly dating metaphor to bloody extremes. The first thirty minutes play out as a romance but when the title credit pops up on screen it brings with it a dark tone—and an unpleasant interpretation of what the name actually means—that lingers until the intense final scene. It breathes the same air as “Promising Young Woman” in its mix of modern allegory and horror, but when the going gets gruesome, it stands on its own.
Director Mimi Cave, working from a script by Lauryn Kahn, weaves social commentary about the commodification of women and modern-day dating into the story. It’s bold storytelling bolstered by a relatable performance from Edgar-Jones that fits like a puzzle piece with Stan’s weirdly chipper oddball character. As Steve, he is suave and sadistic, in what may be his meatiest role to date. In an odd way, given the machinations of the story, they have great chemistry.
“Fresh” is stylishly directed, with strong performances, but feels too leisurely in its approach. Cave spends time setting up the romance (and what comes after BUT NO SPOILERS HERE) but doesn’t afford the same luxury to the characters. If we knew more about Noa, Steve and Mollie the stakes, already high, would be much higher. Still, even though “Fresh” goes on too long, it manages to find a satisfyingly squeamish and memorable way to put a period on the story for patient viewers.
Richard speaks to “CTV News at Six” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend including Steven Spielberg’s finger-snapping remake of “West Side Story,” the Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence satire “Don’t Look Up” and the story of one very bad week in the lives of Lucy and Desi in “Being the Ricardos.”