|Original title:||The menu|
|Running time:||106 minutes|
|Release date:||18 november 2022|
After discovering new films every week, we are less and less surprised since many films seem to follow the same pattern and are cruelly lacking in new ideas. However, we have to admit that the new film by Mark Mylod (Ali G Indahouse (2002), The Big White (2005), What's Your Number? (2011)) proves to be a real cinematographic experience juggling perfectly between the thriller, the horror film but also the satirical comedy by placing its almost unique setting in a great gastronomic restaurant.
The screenwriters Seth Reiss and Will Tracy have succeeded in proposing a scenario of a formidable efficiency in which the main characters all have an importance in the unfolding of the story and between their public and private image, The Menu does not hesitate to carry a real ferocious glance on the great chefs, the gastronomic critics and the actors who run after the fee without really wanting to develop their art. The backstage area of the film's kitchen and the restaurant are at the center of this film in which viewers are invited to discover a film as violent as it is disturbing. The deceptive appearances are multiple in this film as well as a way to compare the kitchens of a great restaurant to a cult in which no one will come out unscathed.
Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) and Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) go together to the restaurant of the famous chef Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) located on his private island. Traveling by boat to the island with others, movie star George Diaz (John Leguizamo) and his personal assistant Felicity (Aimee Carrero), food critic Lilian Bloom and her editor Ted, business partners of this particular restaurant Soren (Arturo Castro), Dave (Mark St. Cyr) and Bryce (Rob Yang) and finally a wealthy couple Richard (Reed Birney) and Anne Liebbrandt (Judith Light). After a tour of the island by Elsa (Hong Chau), assistant to Chef Julian Slowik, the guests will sit down to eat what will be for most of them their last meal. The film is divided into chapters corresponding to each of the dishes offered to the guests, but their meal will not go as they expected.
The film The Menu will remind some of the atmosphere of films like Midsommar (2019), Ready or not (2019) and The Hunt (2020) but also in its way of proposing a tortuous story, the atmosphere of many horrific productions of Blumhouse productions. In front of the excellent dishes that are presented in the kitchen, the Machiavellian plan of the chef of this luxurious restaurant in which the slightest mistake of a cook can lead to his death. However, the great restaurateur Julian Slowik is going to find himself confronted by a formidable adversary, the beautiful Margot Mills, who will not hesitate to confront him and offer him a strange challenge.
Director Mark Mylod, for his first horror film, proves to be very talented in creating a disturbing setting in which anything seems to be possible. The many strong scenes of the film are brought with a perfect sense of tempo and shows us that the requirement in the kitchen bring to the creation of the dishes turns out to be a caricature of its great fashion restaurants in which the dishes have exorbitant prices and the shares served at the strict minimum. The bread, an important accompaniment in French restaurants, as well as the hamburgers take an important part in this film and remind us that even simplistic dishes can be revisited with a keen sense of the search for perfection.
Certainly, once again the actress Anya Taylor-Joy proves to have a strong screen presence and not only does she bring here to her character her natural beauty and above all her great apparent fragility. If the film works so well it is partly by her presence that gives this film a special aura. Mark Mylod knew how to capture with an undeniable talent the numerous qualities of this actress and we can only wait now with a great impatience for his new film Furios foreseen for the year 2024.
Directed by Mark Mylod
Written by Seth Reiss, Will Tracy
Produced by Adam McKay, Betsy Koch, Will Ferrell
Starring Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, Hong Chau, Janet McTeer, Reed Birney, Judith Light, John Leguizamo
Cinematography : Peter Deming
Edited by Christopher Tellefsen
Music by Colin Stetson
Production companies : Hyperobject Industries, Alienworx Productions, Gary Sanchez Productions
Distributed by Searchlight Pictures (United States), The Walt Disney Company France (France)
Release dates : September 10, 2022 (TIFF), November 18, 2022 (United States), November 23, 2022 (France),
Running time : 106 minutes
Seen on November 18, 2022 at Gaumont Disney Village, Room 5 seat A 18