The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

Rating: 9/10

Dir: Peter Greenaway
Star: Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Richard Bohringer, Alan Howard

[4] Cannibalism, fork stabbings, people eating dog-shit, vomiting at the dinner-table & screwing in the toilet. Ah, but this is Art, and the director is an Artist, so he can get away with it! Gambon is the Thief, a psychopathic boor who eats every night with his cronies in the restaurant he owns. His Wife (Mirren) meets her Lover (Bates) there, and they snatch brief, torrid moments together. Then the Thief finds out about it, and swears to kill and eat the Lover. Sumptuously shot with gorgeous use of colour, stunning costumes (by Jean-Paul Gaultier) and sets, good performances, especially from Michael Gambon who projects an aura of seething insanity, and a haunting score make this about the artiest ‘video nasty’ I’ve seen.

Kitty Paige, 31/10/01: “I have seen this, and someone else has likely mentioned this to you, but…The thief never promised to eat her lover; I honestly believe that he couldn’t stand the thought that she might find someone else to care about her. Someone she’d choose over him in a heartbeat, and leave with (if she dared). Such a person wouldn’t be hard to find in my book, granted. His wife went to the cook after finding her dead lover, and asked him to cook her lover as a “special” meal for her husband. The thief is then forced to do so, hemmed in on all sides by the many characters he’s abused throught the whole story…I still wonder what happened after that dinner ended…