Nigel's mother (Victoria Hamilton) appears to have been the world's worst cook, boiling unopened cans of food to a soggy pulp and nervously refusing young Nigel's (Oscar Kennedy) suggestions that she try an occasional fresh veg. After many a ruined dinner they fall back on that old reliable, toast-the one dish she has mastered. But Nigel loves her dearly, and is devastated by her early death, leaving him and his lonely dad (Ken Stott) to look after each other. When new cleaner Mrs. Potter (Helena Bonham Carter) arrives, her curves, charms and fabulous lemon meringue pies quickly bewitch Nigel's father, and, much to his son's horror, the three move to the country to live together. The one silver lining is Domestic Science class at Nigel's new school, where Nigel (now played by Freddie Highmore) can finally shine. Soon he and Mrs. P. have embarked on a highly competitive cooking duel, vying for Dad's affections. -- (C) Official Site … More
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Critic Reviews for Toast
Like its namesake, "Toast" is crusty comfort food with little nutritional substance.
"Toast" has three things deserving of adoration: spectacular lemon-meringue pies, the songs of Dusty Springfield and Helena Bonham Carter.
Director S.J. Clarkson seems oblivious to the dissonance; perhaps he's deafened by the music.
For the most part, the movie feels like an emotional vacuum, mirroring the drab vanilla and mint green interiors of the Slaters' home.
"Toast," is by turns sweet and tart, airy and rich and, above all, a thoroughly irresistible confection.
Like going to a restaurant where they fill you up with tasty appetizers and delicious bread but then kick you out before the main course is served.
Enjoyment of this amiable nostalgia trip mostly hinges on one question: Do you care when the Observer scribe made his first pie?
What an annoying little twerp Nigel Slater is, in this odd, off-putting, light-dramatic version of food author Slater's young life.
A visual feast that nonetheless seems emotionally parched...despite the gorgeous toppings ladled onto it, 'Toast' remains too dry and brittle a meal to be fully satisfying.
The story is as familiar as white bread in "Toast," but the dramedy's point of view is a fascinating puzzle.
Fans of gay coming of age stories, British cinema and/or Helena Bonham Carter shouldn't miss it..."Toast" serves as a wistful reminder of the battles we all fought to become who we are today.
An all-out war that was tragic but darkly comic because the battlefield was the kitchen.
The film's first half, which chronicles Nigel's love for his mother, is lovely but it's second half, dominated by Helena Bonham Carter's harpy of a housekeeper Mrs. Potter, is perversely sadistic
Utterly charming, witty and visually splendid nostalgic trip through the '60s by way of the memoir penned by celebrated Brit food writer and cook Nigel Slater and seasoned with some Dusty Springfield pop hits. A gem of a feature directorial debut.
Audience Reviews for Toast
What a wonderful little movie! Nice BBC film based on the early life of UK food critic Nigel Slater. Good performances by Oscar Kennedy as the young Nigel, and Freddie Highmore as the teenaged Nigel. In addition to providing food porn in dessert form, the set design is also awesome with lots of yellows and greens. Very 60s! For the sharp-eyed, Nigel Slater makes a cameo near the end as a chef at the Savoy. A truly nice surprise, because I wasn't expecting too much from this movie. I love when I am treated to a true delight!More
Cast: Helena Bonham Carter, Freddie Highmore, Ken Stott, Matthew McNulty, Clare Higgins, Victoria Hamilton, Selina Cadell, Tracey Wilkinson
Director: S.J. Clarkson
Summary: Adapted from famed food writer Nigel Slater's memoir, this drama centers on young Nigel, who struggles with his mother's death, a troubled relationship with his father and a new stepmother even as he pursues his passion for cooking.
My Thoughts: "Unfortunately I found the story to be a bit boring just like the food this film is named after. I just couldn't get into the film. I felt bad for Nigel for having a hard hearted father and a sick mother. But besides the performances, there was nothing in the film worth keeping my attention."
While young Nigel(Oscar Kennedy) may love his parents(Victoria Hamilton & Ken Stott), he is nowhere near that fond of his mother's cooking, even though she can rock a slice of toast. Inspired to do better, Nigel cooks them spaghetti bolognese for dinner, a dish they are puzzled by. That all turns to be a moot point when Nigel's mother falls ill, a condition he initially thinks might be caused by her being pregnant.
"Toast" is an oddly engaging movie that is aided by some great moments, including one where Nigel's friend points out that growing up in a dysfunctional household can only make him interesting as an adult, a sentiment I would like to agree with despite the lack of scientific studies. And that's not to mention a controlled gonzo turn from Helena Bonham Carter that turns Mrs. Potter from monstrous to I think something approaching a tragic figure.
All of this is in the service of learning not to take anything for granted. But then "Toast" is set in the dreary back end of England(at first I thought this might be the 50's until a random group of hippies are shown on a pier and the great use of Dusty Springfield songs) which is quite possibly hell for any aspiring foodie, if the reported awfulness of English food is/was anything to go by. On the other hand, the fact that we get both ends of the spectrum of dishes admittedly does go a long way to disprove that whole line of thought.
A "foodie flick" that is right up there with Babette's Feast and Eat Drink Man Woman in having the focal point being food glorious food. It was a bit of a trifle but very filling. (10-18-11)More
- Young Nigel Slater:
- No matter how bad things get, it's impossible not to love someone who made you toast. Once you've bitten through that crusty surface, to the softer underneath and tasted the warm salty butter, you're lost forever.
- Thanks for the cake Nigel. Lovely gesture.
- Mrs. Potter:
- It's really not that bad for the first attempt.
- Young Nigel Slater:
- Oh milk. I think I'm gonna throw up.
- Primary School Teacher:
- Drink it now! It's good for you!
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