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Toast

3.9 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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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.

Special Features

Trailer

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
    Not Rated
  • Studio: IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT
  • DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005SW2RTC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,428 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Toast" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By Gary W. Phelps on February 27, 2016
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a true story about Nigel Slater who rose to fame with cuisine expertise as a Chef and well-known Commentator on Television especially the BBC. Nigel Slater's rise to fame was marked by tragedy in his youth as a boy, teenager and young adult. The boy star - Oscar Kennedy - was a display of precocious Genius who portrayed a lonely boy who lost his Mother to illness and clung to his Father in despair. However, his Father portrayed by Tim Stott was a successful professional and re-married. Helena Bonham Carter played the part of the Step-Mother in superb fashion
who Nigel could never bond with. Then the next prodigy of the young Actors, Freddie Highmore, portrayed Nigel as a Teenager. Young Nigel in High School excelled in Home Economics as a Chef apprentice - and even had part-time jobs in nearby local residents. He had a very positive friendship with one of the chefs, whom he turned to in grief when his Father died suddenly. There is one scene where Nigel the grieving Teenager had a session of kissing his friend the chef and begged not to be left alone. But his friend, the Chef is married and sent Nigel off to the prestigious Savoy Hotel with a reference to be apprenticed. Nigel goes home, packs his suitcase and leaves his Step-Mother - Mrs. Potter - never to be seen again. He is accepted as an apprentice chef and Nigel's career began and succeeded due to his merits of character, young lad maturity and self-earned accomplishments. The young boy actor, Oscar Kennedy and the young lad actor Freddie Highmore are exemplars of true genius in acting out their roles in the film. I found this film a real asset to show to a young boy who lost a parent and he could carry on with life.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I hate it when the trailer gives you all the cute bits but fails to grant a realistic portrayal of the film. Being irritated, this may not be a fair
review.

I'm a fan of Freddie Highmore and Helena Bonham Carter, so bought it based on their acting ability, the trailer, and the interesting title.

The story is the horrible childhood and ultimate freedom and growth of a gentleman named Nigel Slater who became one of Britain's top chefs based on his autobiography. Had I read it, or perhaps read the reviews, I would have had more sympathy rather than agony;
2/3 of the film was with a very good younger actor playing Nigel, but I was waiting to see Freddie, who was also very good - subtle and
sensitive.

So, Nigel was a single child in a middle class British family with a stay at home mom who really, really could not cook, and had an innate fear of real, live, fresh food, buying only safe canned goods. One of the funny bits was that, to prepare dinner, she put three unopened cans of various ? into a pot of boiling water to heat them up, but managed to cook off the water and burn them to inedibility! However, she loved Nigel in her own soft, quiet way, and did spend time with him, taking him dancing, and even (gasp!) trying to cook with him.
Nigel was born to taste and enjoy food, a sensuality that was doomed in this household, however, it was his strength, and no one, not even his father, who really seemed to just need ease and peace, but would get abusively angry at his son just for speaking up, quite
managed to kill that deep hunger.
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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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