The menu is not what you expect – it’s better

Resist the temptation to think you know exactly what to expect The menu. The social satire ‘eat the rich’ has been getting plenty of exercise in theaters lately, even right at the Toronto International Film Festival, where this new film directed by Successionit is Marc Mylod created. Sure enough, The menu was programmed opposite the Knives out after Glass Onionboth films featuring a group of wealthy assholes reunited on a remote island.

But Mylod’s food riff and the people involved in it constantly zigzag where you think it’s going to zag. There’s bloodshed and retaliation, but it’s dispensed in a way that never feels expected or pat. At the risk of sounding silly: it’s a new twist on a familiar flavor, like pickle ice cream or a chocolate burger. The menu makes his joke about Chef’s table-ification of the kitchen while finding nuances in its message “capitalism is a plague”.

The Searchlight Pictures release written by comedy veterans Does Tracy and Seth Reiss opens as a young couple boards a yacht that will take them to the exclusive restaurant The Hawthorne, where a seat costs $1,250 per person. Nicolas HoultTyler is what you would call a “foodie” – he talks about “mouth feel” and is desperate to photograph everything on his plate, telling facts about kitchen appliances. Meanwhile, his date, Margot, played by Anya Taylor Joy just don’t understand. With her black fingernails and combat boots, she looks out of place in this team of bankers, celebrities and uptight wasps, and she ignores Tyler’s suggestion to abstain from smoking so as not to ruin his palace. . Taylor-Joy gives off a chill, coolest girl vibe, while Hoult is all laughs. Tyler never gets a meaningful backstory, but Hoult, proving himself once again as an exceptionally talented actor, gives you everything you need to know about this eager-to-please rich man who uses food as a means of self-assurance. make it interesting.

For a while, even after the guests have sat down, The menu looks like maybe it’s just one version of the ultimate concept food silliness. The unofficial office master (Hong Chau) takes the group on a tour of the property, showing the gardens and smoking room, “Nordic style”. Mylod and cinematographer Peter Deming shoot the dishes as if they were making a Netflix documentary, highlighting how the line delicately cooks tiny bits of substance on a beautiful but empty plate.

But there’s an overflowing tension that keeps the audience guessing what kind of hell is about to break loose. Each table has its own grievances. Tyler’s sycophantic food nerdism clashes with Margot’s “who cares” attitude. There’s a frigidity between an older couple played by Judith Light and Reed Birney. A food critic (Janet McTeer) dissects everything that falls on his plate. A movie star (John Leguizamo) bickers with his resigning assistant (Aimee Carrero), and a group of bankers are in an endless cock-measuring contest. The question remains whether it will become a vomit party like the recent Palme d’Or winner triangle of sadness or something supernaturally evil like the horror movie Ready or Not. Maybe these cooks are just cannibals. The answer is: not really any of that.

‘Cause at the center of it all is Ralph Fiennesis the inscrutable leader Slowik. Fiennes is a master at depicting imperiousness, and Slowik certainly projects it, inspiring fervent loyalty among his staff and clapping thunderously before announcing each course. But Fiennes also opposes this stereotype. As Slowik talks about food as memory and ancient bread customs, you may begin to wonder if this guy really believes his own bullshit, a question that lingers until the last shot.

It would be easy for The menu fall into general dichotomies, but the framework does not allow it. Instead, he questions the motivations of those who choose to spend their money at The Hawthorne. and those who choose to make the kind of food it provides. When consummate outsider Margot is asked to choose a side in the class war that’s about to erupt, the decision isn’t exactly simple. Taylor-Joy’s natural majesty allows her to glide between levels, though sometimes Margot is more of a dramatic device than an actual character.

But the reason you go to a place like The Hawthorne isn’t just for the dinner substance, it’s the pageantry, and Mylod delivers that. The aesthetic of the ultra-rich that he helped establish on Succession is useful here. There’s a lovely elegance to the visuals that the clever complications of the script undermine to great effect. It’s comfort food silliness with zesty comments that leaves you satisfied – all in all a great meal.

#menu #expect

Add Comment

%d bloggers like this: