REVIEW: The Menu (2022)

Ralph Fiennes’ Julian Slowik sizes up Anya Taylor-Joy’s Margot, who wasn’t supposed to be there, in THE MENU — PHOTO: Eric Zachanowich / Searchlight Pictures.

Directed by Mark Mylod — Screenplay by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy.

Mark Mylod’s The Menu follows Margot (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) and her food-obsessed boyfriend, Tyler (played by Nicholas Hoult). Tyler has paid for them to go to this highly exclusive restaurant called ‘Hawthorne,’ which resides on this little remote island. Hawthorne is home to the world-renowned chef Julian Slowik (played by Ralph Fiennes) and his highly devoted kitchen staff. Tyler has paid an obscene amount of money to get there because he worships Slowik, and, in actuality, the trip wasn’t originally meant for Margot but rather for his ex-girlfriend. In fact, Margot seems wholly disinterested in the pretentious dishes and overall culture around high-end cooking. She stands out immediately among the guests who also include a food critic that can make or break careers (played by Janet McTeer), tech investors, a past-it actor (played by John Leguizamo), and others. For this evening, Slowik has prepared a detailed but theatrical menu that toys with expectations and that takes aim at his guests. But, eventually, Margot and others start to question whether what is happening is showy high-end cooking or something much more malicious.

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REVIEW: tick, tick… BOOM! (2021)

Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson in Netflix’s tick, tick… BOOM! — Photo: Macall Polay / Netflix.

Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda — Screenplay by Steven Levenson.

Hamilton-creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick… BOOM! is based on the Jonathan Larson musical of the same name and it tells the story of Jonathan Larson’s time as an aspiring composer and playwright in New York City in the early 1990s. Larson (played by Andrew Garfield) is about to turn thirty years old, and he is worried that he is about to miss his moment. While he is juggling paying his bills, working on his relationship with his girlfriend, Susan (played by Alexandra Shipp), and working as a waiter in a SoHo diner, he is also trying to complete his musical Superbia, which he has been working on for eight years, before it is to be presented a couple of days prior to his birthday. But Larson finds it difficult to find time for everyone in his life as he can constantly sense that time is ticking away inside his head.

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