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A couple (Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult) travels to a coastal island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef (Ralph Fiennes) has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises.

Have you seen The Menu? Please share your own review and comments.



A couple (Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult) travels to a coastal island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef (Ralph Fiennes) has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises.

Have you seen The Menu? Please share your own review and comments.
Not yet, but I want to.
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Just watched it last night, and it felt like a really good opportunity flushed down the drain.


They could have done so many things with the dinner guests.
So many possibilities, & it feels like they just didn't even try, apart from the food critic.


WARNING: spoilers below

A corrupt politician, a media personality, a producer who escaped sexual harrasment allegations, etc.
They could have even turned Hoult's character into a social media celebrity who stole an invite.


This could have been the Chef's 1000th serving day, and he decided to retire in the most gloriously violent manner taking with him all the worst entities.


Only Anya Taylor Joy's escape/leave seems well done.



This story in the hands of Bryan Fuller and/or Ari Aster would have been glorious.



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Just watched it last night, and it felt like a really good opportunity flushed down the drain.


They could have done so many things with the dinner guests.
So many possibilities, & it feels like they just didn't even try, apart from the food critic.


WARNING: spoilers below

A corrupt politician, a media personality, a producer who escaped sexual harrasment allegations, etc.
They could have even turned Hoult's character into a social media celebrity who stole an invite.


This could have been the Chef's 1000th serving day, and he decided to retire in the most gloriously violent manner taking with him all the worst entities.


Only Anya Taylor Joy's escape/leave seems well done.



This story in the hands of Bryan Fuller and/or Ari Aster would have been glorious.
WARNING: "The Menu" spoilers below
Not sure what difference changing the specific occupations of the guests would make (and I'd argue that Leguizamo's character qualifies as a media personality while the old guy stepping out on his wife would've also warranted comparison to such allegations) - Hoult's status as an obsessive foodie/fanboy is already more interesting than the idea of him being some random celebrity (and it's his comeuppance that is maybe the best part of the movie in my estimation). The thing is that it's not just a broad satire of rich people in general but also specifically concerned with art, critics, and audiences so it makes sense if the occupations are at least tangentially connected to those concepts.


Still not a good movie, though.
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I have a few obsessive foodies in my family who cook Michelin-level food and insist on setting the table even to have coffee in the garden. Iím not particularly into that personally, and I do understand where the desire to mock it comes from, but this felt quite heavy-handed (though I also enjoyed the ending).



A couple (Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult) travels to a coastal island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef (Ralph Fiennes) has prepared a lavish menu, with some shocking surprises.

Have you seen The Menu? Please share your own review and comments.
I didn't hate it, but didn't quite love it either. It was mildly amusing, but that's about it.

At bottom, it's a cruel comedy that motivates the action with the fig-leaf of critique/insight.The criticism of the "Chef," for example, appears inconsistent. On the one hand, he berates his customers for not knowing what they've been served and for not being attentive to eating, but then he berates his foodie-groupie for paying attention to the dish, ingredients, etc., on grounds that this sucks the magic out of cooking. He doesn't seem to know what he wants his customers to do.

The film exudes the very same high-concept hollowness which it purports to attack. However, if you don't expect it to be a high-concept masterpiece or think-piece, you can enjoy it in much the same way you might enjoy... say... ...a cheeseburger.



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@Iroquois
It stopped me from feeling anything for the characters, and therefore their comeuppance felt weak.
Not saying I disagree with this statement, just curious as to why those proposed alternatives would be any better.

At bottom, it's a cruel comedy that motivates the action with the fig-leaf of critique/insight.The criticism of the "Chef," for example, appears inconsistent. On the one hand, he berates his customers for not knowing what they've been served and for not being attentive to eating, but then he berates his foodie-groupie for paying attention to the dish, ingredients, etc., on grounds that this sucks the magic out of cooking. He doesn't seem to know what he wants his customers to do.[/b]
WARNING: "The Menu" spoilers below
Leaving aside the whole matter of the chef being insane, I think his logic for targeting the foodie is consistent because he's not just paying attention to the food, he's pathologically obsessed with it to the point where he's sneaking photos of dishes against the crew's wishes, is too focused on the food to care when the sous-chef shoots himself, is eventually revealed to have known about the murder-suicide plot all along, and was willing to drag an uninterested stranger to her death on the off chance that he might meet his idol and win his approval. Where the other guests have insincere motivations for coming to the restaurant and immediately freak out when things go sideways, he is sincere about an insane goal to the point where he is still willing to be there up until the chef forces him to show off his awful cooking skills and realise how worthless he and his obsession with food truly are (which is why he's the only guest to commit suicide while the others are murdered).



Not saying I disagree with this statement, just curious as to why those proposed alternatives would be any better.



WARNING: "The Menu" spoilers below
Leaving aside the whole matter of the chef being insane, I think his logic for targeting the foodie is consistent because he's not just paying attention to the food, he's pathologically obsessed with it to the point where he's sneaking photos of dishes against the crew's wishes, is too focused on the food to care when the sous-chef shoots himself, is eventually revealed to have known about the murder-suicide plot all along, and was willing to drag an uninterested stranger to her death on the off chance that he might meet his idol and win his approval. Where the other guests have insincere motivations for coming to the restaurant and immediately freak out when things go sideways, he is sincere about an insane goal to the point where he is still willing to be there up until the chef forces him to show off his awful cooking skills and realise how worthless he and his obsession with food truly are (which is why he's the only guest to commit suicide while the others are murdered).

I am sure that you're right, so allow me to stipulate to your analysis without objection. Even deprived of the example, however, I think the claim it supports is still correct. The film is throwing darts at sexism, classicism, obsession, sexual assault, taking for granted, work-life-balance, capitalism, but by my lights, this is all hand-wavy B.S. to justify an "eat the rich" movie.



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I didn't like the overall film anyway - gave it a
myself. Like I wrote earlier, I think this makes the most sense as a commentary on art specifically (and those topics you listed are all folded into that), but it's not saying anything particularly insightful about any of them or even just being an enjoyably simple thriller at the same time.



I didn't like the overall film anyway - gave it a
myself. Like I wrote earlier, I think this makes the most sense as a commentary on art specifically (and those topics you listed are all folded into that), but it's not saying anything particularly insightful about any of them or even just being an enjoyably simple thriller at the same time.

Yeah, I think you've got it right. The film is rather dour if you take it seriously (as a critique rather than light entertainment), but the film does go to lengths to justify the madness of the chef with those speeches and the supporting music. And if it is taken that way... ...meh? Probably would've been better to spend less time justifying the madness and more time enjoying it. A Gordon Ramsey has finally just lost his s**t and without the film worrying justifying/explaining too much. Don't venerate the fig leaf, just let us see the cook and his crew serve up ridiculous cruelties and I think this would've probably worked better. The idea of murdering people over food is rather preposterous to begin with, so it's hard for me to see the serious cultural-critical stuff landing anyway (no offense to anyone's favorite filmmaker).



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I think a key issue is that it doesn't have a good protagonist either - she's a flat character who starts off as being totally uninterested in playing along with proceedings even before things turn horrific and then it's just a matter of watching her very obviously try to escape over and over so there's no real arc and the resolution itself is laughable (in a bad way).



I think a key issue is that it doesn't have a good protagonist either - she's a flat character who starts off as being totally uninterested in playing along with proceedings even before things turn horrific and then it's just a matter of watching her very obviously try to escape over and over so there's no real arc and the resolution itself is laughable (in a bad way).

With lower stakes, I think the "food" resolution could have worked... ...in a totally different film. Premise: awkward family dinner with a maladjusted family member who happens to be a top chef. Our chef initially hogs the kitchen, overdoes Thanksgiving, and turns it into a sterile set of high concept dishes and we resolve the problem (the distance between the chef and the food and the family and their relationships) with the help of a relative who defuses the tension by nudging Chef Grumpy into finding the holiday spirit by cooking an old family recipe, and Chef Grumpy rediscover the joy of cooking, and serving, and family, with everyone enjoying "Nana's Classic Ham Casserole" at the end. Call it Chef Grinch or Cook, Laugh, Love, and put in on Lifetime or Disney+. Or were you thinking of another detail?



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As a general rule, I don't think criticism of a film should involve thinking up alternative versions because then you're getting too far away from thinking about the film as is. The fact that I've seen people compare said resolution to the one from the end of Ratatouille does indicate a little too much simplicity for its own good.



As a general rule, I don't think criticism of a film should involve thinking up alternative versions because then you're getting too far away from thinking about the film as is. The fact that I've seen people compare said resolution to the one from the end of Ratatouille does indicate a little too much simplicity for its own good.

I am just talking about whether the resolution is damnable as a device, as an independent property of the film (i.e., in this moment we're not directly talking about criticism of the film--but rather a sub-claim offered as a direct criticism of the film). My sense that the resolution (considered independently) is potentially OK, contrasts with my view that a serious cultural critical movie about a disgruntled chef offing patrons would work in anyone's hands (I just don't see it). That is, in this case, I do damn the feature. I think this one should have been a dark comedy with emphasis on comedy in the darkness and not finding dark truths in the comedy. At any rate, there was something just off about this one. I liked it OK, but I get why others didn't.



As a general rule, I don't think criticism of a film should involve thinking up alternative versions because then you're getting too far away from thinking about the film as is. The fact that I've seen people compare said resolution to the one from the end of Ratatouille does indicate a little too much simplicity for its own good.
Have you never watched a movie that you thought would've been better if it had been altered in some specific way, though?