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Toast

Toast Movie
4
Sunday October 23rd, 2011

Toast is based on the memoirs of British culinary expert Nigel Slater. It's a delightful recreation of 1960's Britain lovingly directed by S J Clarkson  and starring Oscar Kennedy as the very young Slater who reads cook books and hates the drab meals his gastronomically challenged mother (Victoria Hamilton) prepares. He dreams of awakening the family's taste buds to new experiences.

His dismal father perfectly played by Ken Stott thinks he's abnormal and ignores him as if he were a pest when he's not shouting at him for some alleged wrongdoing.

Freddie Highmore is the older Slater.

I loved Helena Bonham Carter in this movie. This should be an Oscar nomination and quite possibly a win for the veteran actress who has lit up the screen with a quarter century of great performances. In Toast she's memorable as Mrs. Potter a sexy, conniving character who enters the Slater household as a cleaning lady/cook when Nigel's mother passes away from respiratory failure. The boy sees Mrs. Potter as a opportunistic schemer trying to usurp his late mother's role in the home and take advantage of his lonely father. But one thing NIgel has to give her: she is an outstanding cook and a Rembrandt in the kitchen.

The film is perhaps more ambivalent about Mrs. Potter's motives than Slater's memoirs would allow and to Helena Bonham Carter's credit she manages to find some humanity in someone Slater has never stopped hating.