MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 61 this week

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

 -  Drama  -  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 22,095 users  
Reviews: 167 user | 67 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...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 02 Apr 2011
 
a list of 21 titles
created 05 Jan 2012
 
a list of 28 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 47 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 34 titles
created 2 months ago
 

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.
5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
Persona (1966)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A nurse is put in charge of an actress who can't talk and finds that the actress's persona is melding with hers.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin
The Sacrifice (1986)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

At the dawn of World War III, a man searches for a way to restore peace to the world and finds he must give something in return.

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Stars: Erland Josephson, Susan Fleetwood, Allan Edwall
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Young Esteban want to become a writer and also to discover the identity of his father, carefully concealed by the mother Manuela.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Candela Peña
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

On an isolated lake, an old monk lives on a small floating temple. The wise master has also a young boy with him who learns to become a monk. And we watch as seasons and years pass by.

Director: Ki-duk Kim
Stars: Ki-duk Kim, Yeong-su Oh, Jong-ho Kim
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pair of young lovers flee their New England town, which causes a local search party to fan out and find them.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis
Talk to Her (2002)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two men share an odd friendship while they care for two women who are both in deep comas.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Rosario Flores, Javier Cámara, Darío Grandinetti
The Return (2003)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In the Russian wilderness, two brothers face a range of new, conflicting emotions when their father - a man they know only through a single photograph - resurfaces.

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Stars: Vladimir Garin, Ivan Dobronravov, Konstantin Lavronenko
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

This story takes place in a small town on the Hungarian Plain. In a provincial town, which is surrounded with nothing else but frost. It is bitterly cold weather - without snow. Even in ... See full summary »

Directors: Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky
Stars: Lars Rudolph, Peter Fitz, Hanna Schygulla
Nostalghia (1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The Russian poet Andrei Gorchakov, accompanied by guide and translator Eugenia, is traveling through Italy researching the life of an 18th-century Russian composer. In an ancient spa town, ... See full summary »

Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Stars: Oleg Yankovskiy, Erland Josephson, Domiziana Giordano
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Richard Borst
...
...
...
Michael
...
Mitchel
...
Cory
Gary Olsen ...
Spangler
Ewan Stewart ...
Harris
...
Turpin
...
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

Plot Keywords:

restaurant | murder | sex | allegory | gangster | See more »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

NC-17 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 April 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover  »

Box Office

Gross:

$7,724,701 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The lengthy tracking shot from the restaurant to the toilet is supposed to be symbolic of food passing through the intestinal tract. See more »

Quotes

Albert: I think those Ethiopians enjoy starving. Keeps them thin and graceful.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"And a special thanks to those very many people who patiently & repeatedly performed as patients in the hospital ward, as as diners in the Hollandais restaurant." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Grindhouse (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Divine Comedy

Imagine the universe as a restaurant. The parking lot is the world. The kitchen is purgatory. The ladies's room is heaven. The dining room is hell. Hell is ruled over by Albert Spica, (Satan) excellently played by Michael Gobon. Dante is Michael (Alan Howard) a cataloger of French books. Beatrice, Dante's perfect woman, Georgina Spica (Helen Mirren) who is married to the devil.

In the beginning, the cook (God) in the real world is seen kicked and smeared and fed dog feces by Gabon. He is humiliated and in tears, but He endures and eventually helps to further the love between Howard and MIrren. Sex, in its pure form, is looked at as something sacred. Gabon lords over everyone in his realm with a tyrant's fist, caring nothing about anyone or anything. He wants two three things out of life—superiority to all other being, food and sex, while Mirren, as a reluctant Persephone, sneaks off to be with Howard. A couple of times Gabon even finds his way into the sanctity of heaven, but this is only short-lived.

The mood of the film is dark-black, heralded by brilliant reds or greens, and the tenor of an angelic child throughout. Every image is like a painting. Emotions creep in from all directions.

This is a film that would never, no matter what year it was produced, have won an Academy Award. It is too refined, to subtle, too sensual, too intelligent.

Watch it, rent it, buy it. It must be seen.


136 of 180 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:
?