'The Menu' stars Ralph Fiennes in dark satire about famous chef and his customers

BySandy Kenyon via OTRC logo
Friday, November 18, 2022
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"The Menu," starring Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor Joy and John Lequizamo is out in movie theaters Friday. Sandy Kenyon has the story.

NEW YORK -- Great food is on "The Menu" for those willing to pay a high price: $1,250 each for a single meal.

"What are we eating, a Rolex?" wonders one patron played by Anya Taylor Joy, but the true cost of the experience only becomes apparent once all the guests get to a remote island where the restaurant called Hawthorne is located.

There, a world-class chef played by Ralph Fiennes is master of his domain.

"The Menu" is one of the most unusual films ever made by Ralph Fiennes in a long career.

"The whole tone of the script was unlike anything anything I'd seen," the star said during the premiere of the movie in New York City. "These high-end chefs are obsessed and they can be quite frightening and self absorbed."

Fiennes got into character by watching TV series like "Chef's Table," but he also got crucial coaching from one of the country's best chefs, Dominique Crenn.

"What I told him is I think you have go be the conductor of the symphony," Crenn said. She calls the performance which resulted, "authentic to a T."

The star returned the compliment by calling her advice crucial.

"What I got from Dominique was her calmness," Fiennes said. "She wore her authority very lightly so I took her lovely, benign, calm authority, and I made it into Chef Slowik authority."

Slowik is pretty severe and has plenty of scorn for his rich patrons.

That left entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon wondering if this was a drama or just a very dark comedy.

"It's really dark and odd," John Leguizamo said. "And it's skewering you know privileged class, entitled people, and they're really despicable and you want them to get their comeuppance."

Leguizamo plays a famous movie star who, like the others, becomes more and more distraught as bad things keep happening to the patrons of Chef Slowik's restaurant.

Suffice it is to say that one patron asks another "we're all going to die tonight, isn't that right?"

"The Menu" is from Disney's Searchlight division, owned by the same parent company as this station.