The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
The opening scene may be a bit shocking, but hang in there for a simple story of fury, adultery and retribution. Wealthy über-pig Albert (Michael Gambon) drags his hapless wife (foxy Helen Mirren) and cronies to a fancy restaurant to humiliate everyone present. When he discovers that his wife is doing the wild thing in the toilet with a lover, hello shit, hello fan. Often described as an allegory for Thatcher’s Britain, capitalism or consumer culture, this assault on our senses sets out to prove that we are cowardly, puerile animals, choking on our own waste and greed. But what a display of eating and sex, Jacobean drama, Dutch paintings and the theatre of cruelty. The lavish and opulent costumes, sets and photography result in a style we haven’t seen before or since. Genteel suggestion: Don’t eat before the screening.