The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover
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Top Customer Reviews
"The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover" starts on a particularly memorable note. Big time gangster and thief Albert Spica (Michael Gambon), his wife Georgina (Helen Mirren), and his entourage pull up to the back door of a fancy restaurant run by the fabulous French chef Richard Borst (Richard Bohringer), ready for a night of fine dining and obnoxious behavior. Spica is a notorious brute, a beefy, sadistic thug who enjoys tormenting everyone around him, especially his wife Georgina.Read more ›
I remember when this was released, it had just gotten a very positive review in the NY Times, and the theater was packed. Well, by the end of the film, there were plenty of empty seats. I've never seen so many people walk out on a movie, or in such a steady flow. It was as though the people who found it distasteful had very different levels of tolerance, or perhaps that the film offered an unusually broad selection of potentially offensive subjects. There were actually people who walked out during the last 10 minutes. Still, there were plenty of viewers who were transfixed by this exquisite film, including me. In fact, I had to go see it again the very next day. I can't remember being quite so affected by any movie.
Helen Mirren and Michael Gambon are both very good here, but what really sets this film apart are the stunning, painterly compositions and the lush cinematography (by Sacha Vierny). The brutal violence, the dialogue, the characters and plot all serve as a background to the film's dazzling visual spectacle. This inversion is somewhat typical of Peter Greenaway's films in general, but this is perhaps his masterpiece. In short, I can't imagine a more necessary addition to the DVD canon.
Le Hollandaise is the fictional restaurant setting for Peter Greenaway's controversial 1989 film "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover". It was my first exposure to the work of Peter Greenaway and I fell in love. "Cook" is also Greenaway's most well known, most controversial and, therefore, financially successful film. After watching the film, watching many people walk out, I sought out Greenaway's earlier works and have been a faithful follower of his new films.
The Cook (Richard Bohringer) is the owner of Le Hollandaise, a grand, snooty restaurant serving the elite of London's upper class. He has a reputation for creating the most wonderful dishes. The Thief (Michael Gambon) makes himself a partner of the restaurant, forcing his favors upon the Cook and holding court in the restaurant every evening. His boorish manners and atrocious attitude towards everyone begins to have an effect on The Wife (Helen Mirren). Georgina can't stand her abusive, stupid, loud husband. One evening, she spots The Lover (Alan Howard) sitting alone at another table, his face buried in a book. He looks up. Soon, he follows her into the ladies room and they begin their affair under the nose of her husband. Each night, they become closer but also come closer to getting caught. The Cook soon aids in their liaisons.
In any Greenaway film, the most important aspect of the film is the design. This is closely followed by some sort of system and the story and subject matter closely follow that.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm returning it only because it's not for the DVD player I have..but it's a quirky brilliant movie..pay attention to the room when the actors enter.. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kathy A.
Great movie, very interesting theme. Very hard to find, searched for years for this one.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Just horrendous. I picked this movie because of Helen Mirren, a fave actress.It was a dark, costume-y, slapstick farce of a stage play. NOT my kind of entertainment. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Les
I cannot believe Helen Mirren did this movie. It is the worst I have EVER seen!!Published 7 months ago by Frieda Haynes
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Region One DVD release?||
I don't know what the situation was back in 2006, but these days you can pick up a region-free machine (i.e. Coby or Craig) for less than $40.
Feb 17, 2008 by A. J. Stavsky | See all 7 posts
|To the cheap nummskulls selling this||
Your my hero, can you please show me how I can be just like you, pretty please with sugar on top!
Apr 1, 2009 by Billy The Count Von Yinga | See all 2 posts