Editors note: Deadline’s Read the Screenplay series debuts and celebrates the scripts of films that will factor in this year’s movie awards races.
To eat or not to eat? That is the question posed to a group of affluent diners in the twisted culinary satire . The Searchlight Pictures film directed by Mark Mylod follows an esteemed, award-winning chef named Julian Slowik (Ralph Fiennes) during the celebratory last night at his five-star island restaurant Hawthorne. Enticed by the exclusivity of the mysterious island eatery are several high-profile guests including a washed-up movie star, three annoying tech bros, an elderly couple, a famed food critic, an over-enthused foodie (Nicholas Hoult) and his morose girlfriend (Anya Taylor-Joy). They await a personalized multi-course menu that, to their horror, grows increasingly more exploitative and violent than the last.
The sharp script penned by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy provides biting commentary about how obscene wealth can corrupt and blind people to reality. In a darkly funny scene between Slowik and a highly educated diner, the chef simply admits to wanting to kill her because she was able to graduate from Brown without accruing student loans.
“One of the things I’m most proud of in The Menu is you can view it through a whole lot of different lenses,” Mylod told Deadline. “It’s a really fun ride, but there is that social bite to it, and I hope it’s not quite as straightforward as ‘eat the rich.’ At least for me, the most interesting items are about the individual characters, and how their whole value system is being perverted, eaten and twisted.”
The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and has since garnered acting nominations for both Fiennes and Taylor-Joy at the Golden Globes. It also stars Hong Chau, John Leguizamo and Judith Light.
Feast your eyes on the screenplay by clicking below.
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