On a remote island only reachable by a small charter boat, Ralph Finnes’s Julian Slowik takes performance art to new heights. You truly have no idea what you’re in for when you sit down to watch Mark Mylod’s The Menu, in the same way that guests on the boat to Hawthorn have absolutely no idea what awaits them as the night goes on.
We meet a couple, Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult), as they travel to a coastal island in the Pacific Northwest to eat at the exclusive Hawthorn, where the reclusive, globally celebrated Chef (the aforementioned Julian, played by Ralph) has prepared a lavish tasting menu for select special guests. Joining the couple are three young, already inebriated tech bros, Bryce (Rob Yang), Soren (Arturo Castro) and Dave (Mark St. Cyr), an older wealthy couple and repeat clients, Anne and Richard (Judith Light and Reed Birney), renowned restaurant critic Lillian Bloom (Janet McTeer) and her slavish magazine editor Ted (Paul Adelstein), and a famous middle-aged movie star (John Leguizamo) with his assistant Felicity (Aimee Carrero). Hosted by the immaculately dressed front of house staff led by general Elsa (Hong Chau), the evening unfolds with increasing tension at each of the guest tables as secrets are revealed and unexpected courses are served. With wild and violent events occurring, Slowik’s motivation begins to rattle the diners as it becomes increasingly apparent that his elaborate menu is designed to catalyze to a shocking finale.
The combination of dark comedy and horror gives this film a stunning twist, and we spoke with the brilliant cast and crew to hear all about how they captured it, and so much more. Check out the conversation below!