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.
After twelves years of regular “Canada AM” movie reviews, Richard and host Beverly Thomson get together one last time to talk about the weekend’s four big releases, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” “Me Before You,” and “Into the Forest.”
Richard andCP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s four big releases, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” “Me Before You,” and “Into the Forest.”
These days Jojo Moyes is a bestselling author with a movie adaptation about to hit screens.
But before she wrote her best-known book she says, “I had not troubled the bestseller charts.”
The former journalist, who has written 13 novels, hit publishing pay dirt with Me Before You, a romance about a young woman who has a life-changing relationship with a paralyzed man.
“I was driving my kids home from school,” says Moyes, “and I heard this story on the news about a young athlete who had been left quadriplegic after an accident.
“Several years into life as a quadriplegic he had persuaded his parents to take him to Dignitas, which is a centre for assisted suicide in England to end his life.
“I was just really shocked by this story because as a human and a parent I could not envisage how a parent would agree to do that.
“I kept thinking I would fight to the death to keep my kids alive. Because I am an ex journalist, I started to read around it and read more about this young man and read more about the issue and I discovered it wasn’t as black and white as I wanted to believe. Then it got me thinking, what would I be like if I were him? What would it be like to be his mother? What would it be like to be his girlfriend?”
The book sold north of 5 million copies and is now a movie starring Games of Thrones dragon lady Emilia Clarke. The 29-year-old actress plays the relentlessly cheerful Louisa, caregiver to quadriplegic Will, played by The Hunger Games star Sam Claflin.
“I read the amazing book first,” the effervescent Clarke says. “I was reading it to see if I wanted to be in it. In the first couple of pages of Lou (I thought) this is who I am. This is so much me in every way. Then there was the story itself and the beauty within it; the heartbreak, the joy and the laughter fell on top of one another and I just said yes.
“I understand (Louisa) innately because if things ever get too dire I’m going to crack a joke. We’re going to laugh through this. In those moments, at that peak when something bad has happened, and you’re like, ‘Let’s laugh about it,’ as you’re laughing you start crying.
She also says she had a rigorous rehearsal process with co-star Claflin, so she got to know her character and their story really well.
“When you’ve got all that knowledge someone only has to say one thing and you are there because you have built her within you. You’ve built the story around you.”
Moyes says finding the right person to play Louisa was important to not only the success of the film, but also to keep the fans of the book happy.
“I felt a huge responsibility to those people because it’s not like this has only been read by 20,000 people,” says Moyes.
“This is a much bigger thing. I will defy anybody to see Emilia as Lou and not feel this is a true representation of the character.
“When I picture Lou, I can’t help but picture Emilia. That is how fully she has taken root in my imagination.”