This is a dark, grim, and depressing morality play by British writer-director Peter Greenaway (The Draughtsman's Contract). Although the film company has released this controversial work unrated, the MPAA gave it an "X." Albert (Michael Gambon) is a foul-mouthed, violent, and racist criminal who enjoys dining out in French restaurants. While he entertains his uncouth gang at the table, his abused wife Georgina (Helen Mirren) makes love with Michael (Alan Howard), a sophisticated bookstore owner, elsewhere in the restaurant. When Albert finds out about her infidelity, he comes up with a cruel end for Michael, but Georgina, with the help of the cook (Richard Bohringer) bests her husband with an even more perverse piece of revenge. Greenaway's point is that beneath the thin veneer of civilization lovely art objects, fine clothes, gourmet food, and classic literature our insatiable appetites for cruelty, violence, racism, and power keep us slathering at the level of beasts.
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover
A dark and grim morality play about our insatiable appetite for cruelty and power.