MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 173 this week

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

 -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  6 April 1990 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 23,201 users  
Reviews: 169 user | 68 critic

The wife of an oafish restaurant owner becomes bored with her husband and considers an affair with a regular patron.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Related News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 16 Oct 2011
 
a list of 23 titles
created 30 Nov 2011
 
a list of 36 titles
created 30 Aug 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 11 Jan 2013
 
a list of 23 titles
created 19 Oct 2013
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover (1989) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover.

User Polls

6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Tired of her husband's philanderous ways, the mother of two daughters drowns her husband. With the reluctant help of the local coroner, the murder is obscured. Her daughters are having ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Bernard Hill, Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Mr. Neville, a cocksure young artist is contracted by Mrs. Herbert, the wife of a wealthy landowner, to produce a set of twelve drawings of her husband's estate, a contract which extends ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Anthony Higgins, Janet Suzman, Anne-Louise Lambert
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

As a young girl in Japan, Nagiko's father paints characters on her face, and her aunt reads to her from "The Pillow Book", the diary of a 10th-century lady-in-waiting. Nagiko grows up, ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Vivian Wu, Ewan McGregor, Yoshi Oida
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An American architect arrives in Italy, supervising an exhibition for a French architect, Boullée, who is famous for his oval structures. Through the course of 9 months he becomes obsessed ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Brian Dennehy, Chloe Webb, Lambert Wilson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Oliver Deuce, a successful doctor, is shattered when his wife is killed in a freak car accident involving the car being driven by Alba Bewick colliding with a very large rare bird. His twin... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Brian Deacon, Eric Deacon, Andréa Ferréol
8 ½ Women (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Following the death of a mother, a father and son open up a brothel in their Genevan estate after watching (1963).

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: John Standing, Matthew Delamere, Vivian Wu
Fantasy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An exiled magician finds an opportunity for revenge against his enemies muted when his daughter and the son of his chief enemy fall in love in this uniquely structured retelling of the 'The... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: John Gielgud, Michael Clark, Michel Blanc
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Raymond J. Barry, Noraly Beyer, Stephen Billington
Nightwatching (2007)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An extravagant, exotic and moving look at Rembrandt's romantic and professional life, and the controversy he created by the identification of a murderer in the painting THE NIGHT WATCH

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Martin Freeman, Emily Holmes, Eva Birthistle
Documentary | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

J'accuse is an 'essay-istic' documentary in which Greenaway's fierce criticism of today's visual illiteracy is argued by means of a forensic search of Rembrandt's Nightwatch. Greenaway ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Martin Freeman, Eva Birthistle, Jodhi May
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A movie about the corruption in all levels of society. A baby is born from a supposed-to-be virgin woman, so a chain of hysteria about divine intervention in the birth takes place.

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Julia Ormond, Ralph Fiennes, Philip Stone
Darwin (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A revisionist biopic on Charles Darwin, illustrated via 18 tableaux covering details from Darwin's birth, his defining voyage on the HMS Beagle, the publication of his seminal Theory of ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Greenaway
Stars: Jacques Bonnaffé, Barbara M. Messner, Germain Pengel
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard
...
...
...
Michael
...
Mitchel
...
Cory (as Ciaran Hinds)
Gary Olsen ...
Spangler
Ewan Stewart ...
Harris
...
Turpin (as Roger Ashton Griffiths)
...
Mews
Liz Smith ...
Grace
...
Patricia
Janet Henfrey ...
Alice
Arnie Breeveld ...
Eden
Tony Alleff ...
Troy
Edit

Storyline

The wife of a barbaric crime boss engages in a secretive romance with a gentle bookseller between meals at her husband's restaurant. Food, colour coding, sex, murder, torture and cannibalism are the exotic fare in this beautifully filmed but brutally uncompromising modern fable which has been interpreted as an allegory for Thatcherism. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Lust...Murder...Dessert. Bon Appetit!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 April 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spica  »

Box Office

Gross:

$7,724,701 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Stereo in selected theatres)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Greenaway uses specific colors to represent each set of the film. The exterior of Le Hollandais is predominantly blue. The kitchen is mostly green. The seating area of the restaurant is red and the restrooms are stark white. The color of Georgina's dress and the sashes that Albert and his associates wear change to match this scheme as the characters move from room to room. The color of Georgina's cigarettes also changes to match the color of the set as she moves. See more »

Quotes

Georgina: Bon apetit. It's French...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue: "And a special thanks to those very many people who patiently & repeatedly performed as patients & nurses in the hospital ward, and as diners in the Hollandais Restaurant." See more »

Connections

Spoofed in 102 Dalmatians (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An unforgettable piece of total cinema
7 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

First of all, I have to say that this film is one of my personal favorites, and that it is one of those things one must see during his or her lifetime.

Truthfully, however, I first got into this film after hearing clips of the soundtrack on the Japanese version of Iron Chef, during a time before it was acquired by the Food Network. This film score, composed by the great post-minimalist Michael Nyman, is still one of the most haunting and soul-stirring scores in my opinion, if not the one of the most impressionable bodies of musical work ever. I still listen to the album on a weekly basis - it gets under your skin that way.

The film itself is a piece of total art, as others have said. The sets are saturated with their singular color schemes (blue for the restaurant's exterior, green for the kitchen, white for the restrooms, and red for the main dining hall) , and people who have any sort of artistic training have valued and will continue to value this film as a character study of color. In this present age where most films present their interpretations of visual thrill through costly CG and SFX technologies, this film is a testament to how color can be a driving influence behind effective set design and cinematography.

The principal actors, including the always amazing Helen Mirren and Michael Gambon, are first rate. Helen Mirren's Georgina is a truly heart-wrenching character, especially in the face of Gambon's portrayal of Albert Spica, a poor excuse for a human being and one of cinema's cruelest villains. The cook and lover are merely catalysts, serving to instigate the final act that is the undoing of Albert's overreaching tyranny.

I suppose the anti-Thatcher sentiment is highly applicable to this film, but since I am not a British citizen, I feel that I cannot comment on this. However, I think the film's allegory can also be applied to other scenarios where a brutish figure uses violence and exploitation as a way to control others whose primary fault is only residing in the same physical/social/legal domain as the brute.

In short, a masterpiece.


23 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Albert Spica, the most odious film character ever. leucrottabob
More artistic movies like this? panospcm
Why this movie isn't on the top 250 is beyond me... bplex
Out of print? joenonneman
Ludicrous theory (to be taken with a grain of salt) AudemarsPiguet
Great Fan, but having a big frustration... What about you? paulpenet

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?