Dishing Up a Great Comedy Horror Thriller - The Menu
I had a bad case of writer's block this past weekend. So, instead of agonizing, I watched movies. Last evening, I 'indulged' in The Menu. I absolutely loved it. The cast was phenomenal. The writing, even more so. Ralph Fiennes, in his leading role as celebrity Chef Julian Slowik, never once sounded like he was reciting from a script. His character's elegant but cold detachment was pure delight. As an event planner, I've been forced to enter a lot of crazy kitchens where shattering hand-clapping and unison shouts of "Yes, Chef!" were standard occurrences. At my last event facility, a common shout-out to the Chef's assistants was "Heard!" It became so popular, it swiftly migrated to our banquet room set-up crew. I'll be honest. I never encountered any truly calm-all-the-time head chefs in my career. But then again, none had the course-by-course agenda that the disillusioned Julian Slowik designed.
I have to give a special shout-out to supporting actor Judith Light. I remember her from those long ago 'One Life to Live' days. What a powerhouse she was, and still is. During the ensemble work in this film, Judith Light uses her facial expressions to perfection. She never upstages and she never disappears. That's a sign of a great actor.
I'm not going to toss out any spoilers here. Even when you realize the path this 'treat' of a movie is taking, it still has its surprises. Writers Seth Reiss and Will Tracy are masters at balancing chaotic themes and tones. The Menu is one of those rare movies I plan to watch again. I want to absorb and learn from the magic of its creation. I beleive if Agatha Christie were alive today, she'd applaud it. This is the movie that perhaps should have been called 'Knives Out.' Another gem! I hope you get to see The Menu. As Ralph Fiennes as Julian Slowik claims, there are no substitutions.