Ralph Fiennes as a kinky, authoritarian chef. Nicholas Hoult as his food-influencer sub. Anya Taylor-Joy’s wide-eyed final girl. The director of Succession. These are but a few of the ingredients to The Menu, a piquant class-warfare satire that’s now streaming on HBO Max.
Director Mark Mylod’s film follows new couple Tyler (Hoult) and Margot (Taylor-Joy), the former a well-heeled, self-described foodie and the latter a bit of a mystery. Tyler, along with a coterie of other wealthy gourmands, have thrown down $1,200 a head to dine at Hawthorne, an ultra-exclusive establishment — on a private island — lorded over by Julian Slowik (Fiennes), the world’s finest chef with a flair for the dramatic. Tyler idolizes Slowik, who introduces each course of his meticulously-constructed (or deconstructed) meal with a thunderous clap, followed by a florid monologue explaining its import.
But before they can say “emulsification,” Hawthorne’s customers find themselves trapped in a deadly game involving mouthwatering dishes with a side of torture. And they’ve all been chosen for a specific reason (sort of).
Two of the diners at Hawthorn are George Diaz (John Leguizamo), a washed-up actor, and Felicity (Aimee Carrero), his assistant/girlfriend. When George and Felicity question why they’ve been included in the dinner from hell, Slowik gives his rationale. And it’s fucking hilarious.
You can watch it (above) right here, only at Rolling Stone.