Welcome to spend an hour and a half at a busy, posh London restaurant where everything is about to reach the boiling point, not least for head chef Andy Jones (Stephen Graham), who’s losing his grip on things. An intense visit among pots and pans, expanded from a 2019 short and filmed in a magnificently choreographed one-shot take, that director Philip Barantini based on his own experiences from working in a restaurant kitchen and dealing with addiction. A terrific cast, including Graham as the tightly wound chef, bring life and energy to a simple but riveting portrait of the constant tension behind a restaurant’s carefully cultivated façade.
2022-Britain. 92 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Hester Ruoff, Bart Ruspoli. Directed by Philip Barantini. Screenplay: Philip Barantini, James Cummings. Cinematography: Matthew Lewis. Cast: Stephen Graham (Andy Jones), Vinette Robinson (Carly), Alice Feetham (Beth), Jason Flemyng, Hannah Walters, Malachi Kirby.
Trivia: Co-executive produced by Graham.
Last word: “I asked [my friend, the real chef Andy Jones] one day I was like, ‘would you be up for [filming in your restaurant]?’ He was like ‘yeah, why not?’ He said, as long as we can have the weekends because they were his busiest days, I said, ‘to be fair, we won’t be shooting weekends anyway, or we won’t be rehearsing weekends. So yeah absolutely let’s just do it. So as long as you don’t mind us, coming in and turn the place into Christmas in the middle of March’ and he was like ‘yeah fine’. So we had to pay him to shut it down. I’m so glad we did it in there now.” (Barantini, Flickering Myth)