Commentary - Toast

Thursday, October 20, 2011

There's a scene in this film where young Nigel Slater, (played with wonderful pathos by a young actor named Oscar Kennedy) is in his room under the covers moaning and breathing heavily, his father hearing the suspicious sounds, barges in to stop what we all assume is a prepubescent self-exploration. Turns out Nigel is pleasuring himself, but not with his hands, rather with his eyes. He's actually devouring a food magazine, with a flash light, under the covers.  The sights of beautifully prepared dishes and desserts is what has him so excited.

This same excitement and enthusiasm for all things culinary would follow Nigel Slater into adulthood and into British celebrity.  The film Toast is the early biography of Slater's life growing up in Wolverhampton, England with a very sweet, but sickly mother, who relied heavily on serving toast for meals when her meager attempts at preparing dinner would turn out unappetizing and often inedible.  It would seem his mother's shortcoming became an endearing part of Slater's childhood as even today he writes this about toast and cheese:
There's nothing quite like cheese on toast – and the endless variations make for truly sumptuous snacks.

I can trace my need for some sort of toasty cheese fix to the day my mother cut up soldiers of toast for me and spread them with Dairylea. Talk about love at first bite. The recipe itself may have moved on more than a bit, but to this day there are few things I like to hear more than the sound of crunchy toast and oozing cheese. I still order Welsh rabbit in restaurants if it's on the menu. (Still around if you know where to look.) Cheeses may change, and the bread moves on, but I suspect cheese on toast in some form or another will always be with us. No matter how simply or fancifully we interpret it. - The Guardian The Observer - Nigel Slater (Sept. 2011)
Unfortunately, his dear mum (Victoria Hamilton) passed away from asthma while Nigel was still a boy, leaving him to be raised by a distant and gruff father. (Ken Stott). Soon Nigel's father hires a cleaning woman to help out around the house, played by Helena Bonham Carter, who must have put on 20lb to play the part, and boy does she have fun with it!  I read this description of the role and feel I must reprint it as it captures the character to a tee:

...the arrival of ‘Miss  Potter’ – a coarse but beguiling cleaner on the make, who bewitched Slater Sr with her saucy outfits and seductive home cooking. Dressed in crimplene housecoats and seamed stockings, a cigarette permanently dangling from her rouged lips, Miss Potter, becomes the second Mrs Slater, leaving a desolate Nigel out in the cold -By Elizabeth Sanderson and Christine Challand. (This article featured Nigel's real-life stepsister, not mentioned in the film, who is livid over the making of Toast both the book and the movie, as she feels it's a libelous depiction of her mother and her mother's marriage to Nigel's father).

But on a lighter note, who would think housework could be so suggestive? There is a very clever montage underscored by the song "The Look of Love", where Nigel's father can't take his eyes off of Mrs. Potter's ample behind, as she scrubs and polishes, then gets turned on when she runs the vacuum cleaner in and out between his legs.


As far as Nigel is concerned the only good thing about Mrs. Potter is the fact that she can cook. And cook she does, the film treats us to another montage, this time of fattening, artery clogging, caloric dishes popular in the late 60's early 70's. But as Nigel discovers his own talent for the culinary arts, Mrs Potter feels her place in the family is being threatened and a rivalry develops between Nigel and his step-mum, causing anguish for Nigel's father.

While watching the film, I felt the tone was reminiscent of  Billy Elliot, and soon discovered the reason being, it was penned by the same screenwriter, Lee Hall.  I liked the movie, not just because it represents food in film; but rather because of its subtle humor mixed with melancholy; the nice handling of Slater's sexual orientation; there's some gems of wisdom by Nigel's precocious boyhood friend, and yes, plenty of feasting for the eyes.

I contacted Katherine Tidy, the film's food stylist for an online interview earlier this week. She has yet to respond, but check back, as this post may be expanded to include her insights.

Post a Comment

Opening Christmas Day: Into the Woods

Google Adsense

Recent Post: I Origins

Recent Post: I Origins
The movie theorizes that eyes are like snowflakes, no two are the same. So if you were to find a match in the eye scanning database (which actually exists) of someone who's already dead, then it begs the question, would that be a glitch in the system? Or has that person returned for a second life, seeing things anew through their old eyes?READ MORE

David Oyelowo will star as Martin Luther King Jr in "Selma"

Looking forward to Eva DuVernay's (Producer:Oprah) "Selma" she'll be working again with one of my favorite actors David Oyelowo who also starred in her movie "Middle of Nowhere"

Recent Post: And So It Goes

Recent Post: And So It Goes
Perhaps purposefully, art imitates life, as Oren's son, (Like Douglas' own son) because of or in-spite of a privileged up bringing, has screwed up his life with drugs. The one thing he's done right is produce an adorable 10 year-old daughter, Sarah (Sterling Jerins), who Oren meets when his son drops her off at his doorstep, as he's leaving to go serve time. READ POST

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY TRAILER



Personally, I still maintain, what made the book(s) a guilty pleasure can't be captured in a movie, it's just not the type of story that will translate well on screen. That being said, I'll still be the first one there come Valentine's Day 2015! Here's Tinsel & Tine's Review of the Books - My Two Cents on Fifty Shades of Grey (Book / Movie)

Recent Post: BELLE

Recent Post: BELLE
#Belle is a beautifully shot film (on the Isle of Mann), the writing gives us many poignant thoughts and thought provoking dialogue. The romantic chemistry between Dido Belle and Mr. Davinier (Sam Reid) is what all us hopeless romantics look for in a movie. And Gugu Mbatha-Raw acts with such expression in her eyes, she's simply lovely (despite her unappealing name). I adore this movie! I also got such a delight every time someone referred to Dido as Miss Lindsay, as that's my last name, of course it makes me wonder, could I be a long, long lost relation?...READ MORE

YOU SHOULD STREAM: Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Director: Kenneth Branagh) Believe it or not, I've never seen The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger or The Sum of All Fears (movies featuring author Tom Clancy's character Jack Ryan) So why did I want to see this one? I didn't really, but I needed to see something in between the screening times of The Hobbit and Hercules.

But I'm glad I did see it...READ MORE


Recent Post: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

Recent Post: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
I'm sure every decade has a movie that you love because you're balling your eyes out; however, I truly think Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort in #TFIOS could be what Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal were to Love Story for audiences in 1970.READ MORE

Hot Movie Coming this Fall - ADDICTED

This rather reminds me of one of my favorite movies "Unfaithful"




SYNOPSIS: Based on the best-selling novel by Zane, ADDICTED is a sexy and provocative thriller about desire and the dangers of indiscretion. Successful businesswoman Zoe Reynard (Sharon Leal) appears to have attained it all – the dream husband she loves (Boris Kodjoe), two wonderful children and a flourishing career. As perfect as everything appears from the outside, Zoe is still drawn to temptations she cannot escape or resist. As she pursues a secretive life, Zoe finds herself risking it all when she heads down a perilous path she may not survive.

DIRECTED BY: Bille Woodruff
CAST: Sharon Leal, Boris Kodjoe, Tyson Beckford, Kat Graham, and William Levy
SCREENPLAY BY: Christina Welsh and Ernie Barbarash

#ADDICTED opens in theaters nationwide on OCTOBER 10th, 2014!

Recent Post: PRIME STACHE FOOD TRUCK PROFILE

Recent Post: PRIME STACHE FOOD TRUCK PROFILE
T&T: Best elevator pitch - What sets your food truck cuisine apart from others? And what's unique about your truck itself? PS: You want size AND quality?! Impossible. But wait..it IS possible! Check out our Ron Burgundy for example (our most popular sandwich off of our truck): This thing is enormous! READ MORE

Spotlight: Philly Phaithful Event

Spotlight: Philly Phaithful Event
I'm moving into West Philly next week from Mt. Airy in an effort to be closer to happenings in Center City and the outlying areas. I'm hoping a shorter commute will allow me to cover more events, events like this one that kicked off my Memorial Weekend. The Philly Phaithful Launch Party for the World Cup Collection by Live, Breathe, Futbol READ MORE

AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL RELEASING

AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL RELEASING
Latest distribution from AFFRM - VANISHING PEARLS:Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Nailah Jefferson's VANISHING PEARLS chronicles the untold story of personal and professional devastation in Pointe à la Hache, a close-knit fishing village on the Gulf coast.

Recent Post: Cake Competition Recap

Recent Post: Cake Competition Recap
If you read this blog frequently, you know I mention cake quite a lot. I'm a self-confessed cake-aholic, but I'm also a cake snob. I don't want just anything with icing on it, and in fact, it is crucial that the icing not be too sweet, too thick and preferably only on top. It's difficult to put into words what constitutes good cake, it's like describing a sunset or an orgasm, you just know it when you're in the moment of it...READ MORE

Philadelphia Magazine » Blog » Foobooz

15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"

LAMB

Large Association of Movie Blogs

Tinsel & Tine was nominated for a VBA

bloglovin

bloglovin

group of 10,000 women bloggers dedicated to supporting one another by leaving comments

Women Online

The Blogstress Network

The Blogstress Network
Female Bloggers Unite

Contributor from 2010 - 2012

Listed on

Movie & Film Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory Add website

About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.
-tinseltine@gmail.com


Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

Share it

Camera Tips

Followers

  © Blogger template On The Road by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP