This is probably Peter Greenaway's most famous (or infamous) film, which first shocked audiences at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival and then on both sides of the Atlantic. A gang leader (Michael Gambon), accompanied by his wife (Helen Mirren) and his associates, entertains himself every night in a fancy French restaurant that he has recently bought. ...Read MoreThis is probably Peter Greenaway's most famous (or infamous) film, which first shocked audiences at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival and then on both sides of the Atlantic. A gang leader (Michael Gambon), accompanied by his wife (Helen Mirren) and his associates, entertains himself every night in a fancy French restaurant that he has recently bought. Having tired of her sadistic, boorish husband, the wife finds herself a lover (Alan Howard) and makes love to him in the restaurant's coziest places with the silent permission of the cook (Richard Bohringer). Though less cerebral than Greenaway's other films, featuring deadly passions reminiscent of Jacobean revenge tragedies of the early 17th century, the picture still offers the director's usual ironic and paradoxical comments on the relations between eating and sex, love and death. The film is at once funny and horrific, and those who are not used to Greenaway's peculiar style might be even disgusted or shocked; however, one might mention Sacha Vierny's brilliant camerawork, Jean-Paul Gaultier's gaudily stylized costumes, and Michael Nyman's somber, pulsating music, which will haunt the viewer long after the film's end. Yuri German, RoviRead Less
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Brand New 6. Master director Greenaway (THE PILLOW BOOK) outdoes himself with this grisly fairy tale. The thief, Albert Spica, (Gambon) is a gangster, repugnant and boorish, who holds court at the same table in his opulent restaurant every night surrounded by his lackeys (Tim Roth and the late Ian Dury included). When his cultured and repressed wife Georgina (Mirren) becomes magnetically attracted to a solitary diner in the restaurant, the two begin a secret affair under the nose of her dangerous husband. With the help of the restaurant's chef, the time the lovers share is kept secret from the vicious Albert...for a while. Despite the breathtaking production design and artful camera work, this violent, disturbing and very darkly comic work is not for everyone. Those with the stomach for it, however, will reap generous rewards.