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: Succession – Season Three (2021)

Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans in Succession: Season Three, Episode Nine, “All The Bells Say,” — Photo: Graeme Hunter / HBO.

This is a full season review of Succession: Season Three — All episodes are available now on HBO Max.

Some of the best television show writers, directors, and creators know how to seemingly blow up their shows in exciting season finales all the while still making these unforeseen events feel true to the show, and then they pick-up where the last season left off with equally good and layered writing, and with convincing twists and turns. While that description may sound more like Breaking Bad than a show about the line of succession in a right-wing media company, it is also true for Succession (and their writers), which, again and again, takes its characters in enthralling new directions. The second season of Succession was right up there with The Leftovers, as some of the most gripping and well-written television on HBO ever, and I’m happy to say that the third season, which went in directions that I hadn’t anticipated at the end of the second season, is equally good. Jesse Armstrong and the Succession writers’ room have done it again.

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