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Toast


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Product Details

  • Actors: Helena Bonham Carter, Ken Stott, Freddie Highmore, Victoria Hamilton
  • Directors: SJ Clarkson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
  • DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005SW2RTC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,172 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Toast" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Based on the bittersweet story of food writer Nigel Slater's childhood, and set to the songs of Dusty Springfield, Toast is a delicious love letter to the tastes and smells that a young boy associates with his journey into adulthood. Nigel's Mother was always a poor cook, and her addiction to all things canned isn't helping. Nigel, on the other hand, laps up cookbooks as if they were porn, and spends all his free time gazing longingly at the delights offered at Percy Salt's grocery shop. Nigel's Dad worries there is something "wrong" with his son and the two find it difficult to connect, so Nigel finds friendship and a father figure in Josh, the gardener. As his mother's illness worsens, so do Nigel's relations with his father -- the Bolognese he cooks is far too exotic, the uncooked Fray Bentos pie MUST be finished, and his father's rage as Nigel insists on picking every last bit of jelly off the canned ham at the annual picnic hits an all time high. Dad then fires Josh for reasons unknown to Nigel. Just before Christmas, Nigel's mother dies, leaving Nigel and his father heartbroken. Their touching efforts to look after each other, often through gestures with food, sadly seem to miss the target. His father begins to spend his evenings at the Masonic lodge until a new cleaner, Mrs. Potter, arrives on the scene. Mrs. Potter's curves, charms and lemon meringue pies quickly bewitch Nigel's father and much to Nigel's horror, the three soon embark on a move to the country. The one silver lining in the cloud of a new school is Domestic Science class, where Nigel can finally shine. Cooking soon becomes the key weapon in the battle for Dad's affections. Ironically, the main casualty of these culinary skirmishes between Nigel and Mrs. Potter is Nigel's father, as his waistline grows and grows. Hoping to escape the madness, Nigel lands a job in the kitchen of his local pub. It is here that Nigel's eyes are opened to a world of culinary opportunity.

Customer Reviews

Bought this for my daughter, who was a bit disappointed in it.
Treddles
Explores feelings regarding losses, grief, forced change, knee-jerk homophobia, puritanism, powerlessness, anger ... the forces that shape children into people.
orbital chaos
All in all, I really enjoyed this film mainly because it's so well acted.
GEORGE RANNIE

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Terry Knapp on October 26, 2011
Format: DVD
If you are on a diet, this is not the film for you. Based on the memoirs of cook and writer Nigel Slater, the movie is a visual culinary feast, detailing his love of food. Raised by a mother who could burn water, Nigel (played as a child by newcomer Oscar Kennedy and as an adolescent by Freddie Highmore) spends his time gazing lovingly at pictures of beautifully prepared dishes. When Mum (Victoria Hamilton) passes away, his father (Ken Stott) takes up with Mrs. Potter (Helena Bonham Carter) who may be a tart, but she cooks like a french chef. The rivalry between Nigel and Mrs. Potter forms the (pardon the pun) meat of the film, as each tries to one-up the other. The leads are uniformly fine (it is especially fun to watch Bonham Carter in this after "The King's Speech"). WARNING: You may begin to feel much like Ken Stott does: overstuffed! As an aside: I purchased this in the PAL format from amazon.co.uk for three pounds, ninety-nine pence, which translated roughly into $6.40. Even with the additional shipping costs, that is a substantial savings.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A kids review on December 29, 2011
Format: DVD
It's romantic to imagine that people with exceptional talents also have exceptional stories to tell about those talents. In the case of English food journalist Nigel Slater, it's somewhat true. Based on Slater's autobiographical novel of the same name, Toast recounts the writer's childhood growing up with an asthmatic mother who was such a poor cook that the only dish she ever mastered was, well, toast. When her illness finally gets the best of her, young Nigel and his father welcome a new addition to the family in the form of a housekeeper named Mrs. Potter, who soon wins over Nigel's father and engages Nigel himself in a sort of ongoing culinary rivalry. Toast was just a tad too saccharine for me, but I'll give it 2 stars, because I liked its breezy humor, visual touches, and judicious use of Helena Bonham Carter's talents. It's an unusual coming of age story, but its charms may just work for some.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ShowBizBuff on January 1, 2013
Format: DVD
Really love Freddie Highmore, and REALLY love Helena Bonham Carter ... but beyond Bonham Carter's terrific performance as Mrs. Potter, I just couldn't get into this film. Set in Britain in the late 1960s, this one's about a young boy named Nigel (played by Highmore, as an adult) who has always doted on his mother - whose cooking is so bad, her best meal is toast. Nigel grows to have a fascination with food and cooking, and when his mother dies from asthma and his father soon after starts dating the cleaning lady (Bonham Carter) - who can cook like a professional chef - Nigel takes up the gauntlet to out-do her. Highmore's performance here is so sterile and one-note, it's hard to even like the adult Nigel - perhaps the film's biggest weakness, and why I give this one only two stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Katherine on August 29, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
I gave this movie three stars ONLY because Helena Bonham Carter was in it and was fantastic in her role. After the movie ended I found I had developed a severe hate for Nigel Slater... which I wasn't expecting. If you love HBC in just about everything she does, you'll enjoy this movie. Other than that, you could still watch it, but you might not like it as much. It's not a movie I'd watch again, even with HBC starring in it. Basically:

What I liked: Touching moments where death is involved, HBC starring in it, time setting.

What I didn't like: Nigel Slater by the end of the movie (which kind of ruined the whole thing, for me anyway).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Torres on November 13, 2012
Format: DVD
I wasn't expecting a sappy movie and it wasn't either, which I'm grateful for that. However, I was expecting this movie to be "charming" and "sweet" as it was described to me. It felt short of that in my eyes. Only Nigel's relationship with his mom was SOMEWHAT touching. Mrs. Potter was horrible and his father was worst. I didn't like it much.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 2, 2012
Format: DVD
I loved this movie! But I am a foodie and love almost all movies that make my mouth water- add on British humor and its all just bonus!

Other foodie type movies I love: Its Complicated, Julia and Julia, Somethings Gotta Give (some what foodie) - so if you like those movies you MIGHT like this one. If you love all things foodie related then read the book The Perfectionist.

PS. if you are at all homophobic, this movie might not be for you- there are just a couple boy on boy kissing scenes. Come on this is a coming of age story after all!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nigel H. Greig on March 20, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
'Toast' - the book by the renowned columnist and food writer Nigel Slater is well worth a read - and describes his childhood memories growing up in the West Midlands, England. Born in 1958, the book covers the 1960s - a relatively bleak time in Britain, I well recall, and 1970s. For those of us born at the same time - many of the delightful memories are shared - with each chapter often centered around food (which for the British was a dismal culinary time), there are numerous 'laugh out loud' passages. Certainly, Slater's book - indeed his life - was touched by sadness, with the death of his Mum by asthma when he was nine years old - but the book is up beat and intimate.

For me, translation to film did not capture the spirit of the book - and I found it largely sad and awkward. Certainly well acted - with wonderful scenery backdrops and delightful period music, I never truly warmed to the characters nor saw my own British past (certainly a very different one - but over the very same period in England) within the film, as I had the book.

The days of 'Harold Wilson' and a largely grey and white Britain have fortunately past by - with the decline of Britain as an industrial and leading political center. It appears to now be a far more colorful country that has found a new role and direction. The film and book cover this change through the eyes of a small child struggling with his dysfunctional family. The book covers this far better - the film far less so - but it's still worth a view..... The book is a "must read" and should be considered first.
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