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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The four title characters are named for the actors writer-director Peter Greenaway originally wanted to play them. Richard (The Cook) is for Richard Bohringer, the only one of Greenaway's original choices retained in the final film. Albert (The Thief) is named after Albert Finney, while Georgina (His Wife) is for Georgina Hale. Michael (The Lover) is named, interestingly enough, for Michael Gambon, whom Greenaway eventually re-cast as Albert. See more »
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 »
Revenge has never been served that well - deliciously and artistically. The visuals, the costumes, the set decoration, the changing colors cinematography and the soundtrack in this black comedy are stunning - the grandmasters were working on the movie - Peter Greenaway, first and foremost a painter and a damn fine one, his brilliant cinematographer Sasha Verny, his astounding composer Michael Nyman who used for the movie the incredible "Memorial", and Jean-Paul Gaultier who designed the costumes. It also helped to have Helen Mirren (as the long suffering wife, Georgina who in the end will serve her husband very well cooked revenge) and Michael Gambon (Albert- the thief, the gangster, the embodiment of pure evil and the owner of the swank restaurant) as two stars. Alan Howard plays a regular guest to whom Georgina is attracted to and carries on an affair with in the restaurant's restrooms and later in the back rooms, with the help of the Artist-cook (Richard Bohringer). Every frame of each Greenaway's movie looks and feels like an exquisite painting. "A Zed and two Naughts" is Greenaway's homage and admiration for Vermeer; The Draughtsman's Contract quite openly refers to Caravaggio, Georges de la Tour and other French and Italian artists. "The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover" would bring to mind Rembrandt but I see Peter Greenaway as Hieronymus Bosch of the cinema - the creator of enormously beautiful, divine canvas depicting all horrors of hell that only humans can inflict on one another.
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