The Cook The Thief His Wife & Her Lover

A wicked film that puts many social taboos right out there for you to be moved, repulsed or aroused by.  The story is about a boorish two-bit mobster (Albert Spica) who takes over Le Hollandaise Restaurant- a high end French eatery.  He dines there every night with his gang of bullies and terrorizes the staff, customers and his wife.

There are a few scatological scenes and references, which show you the psychological immaturity of his character in that he is really a baby with shit on his hands in a fat, grotesque adult body. His wife, Georgina (a woman of impeccable taste) has reluctantly found herself in this marriage and grows to loathe him.  She becomes so bored with his self indulgent childish behavior that she begins an adulterous relationship with a bookish customer who sits in the corner eating and reading.

Really good food requires passion to produce.   When executed well, the creation of food, love and sex will marry quite effortlessly. Both passion and deliberate execution are necessary for survival.  They can bring you to excess, can lead to trouble, can become addictive and make you take risks that will excite like nothing else can.

The covert sex scenes and cooking scenes are lush, lavish and full of tension.  Amazing sets, costumes (by Jean- Paul Gaultier) and cinematography produce such fabulous texture in this film-as grotesque as some of the scenes are, you cannot turn away.   Food props are designed by Giorgio Locatelli (a Michelin-starred chef in London) add authenticity to all cooking sequences. The ending scene is so tragic but Georgina gets her revenge-you have to watch to believe your eyes.

Make sure you watch the unedited NC17 version that runs 124 minutes.  It makes all the difference to have all the scenes intact.

Written: Peter Greenway

Directed: Peter Greenway

1989

France/England

RECIPE: WHOLE ROASTED LOBE OF FOIE GRAS