The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) Written and Directed by Peter Greenaway. Michael Gambon as Albert Spica and Tim Roth as Mitchel.

Albert: You know, Mitchel, what prairie oysters are?
Mitchel: Fish.
Albert: No, if someone give you a prairie oyster to eat, what do you think you’d be eating?
. Fish. You know, like from the lakes, and that. Little… the clams with the little pearls in.

4 Responses to “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)”

  1. To my mind a masterpiece and the perfect realization of Greenaway’s unique artistic vision. I’m also a big fan of Belly of the Architect.

  2. I am at a hotel in Cleveland late here on Wednesday night after an exhausting day at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame with the family, but that won’t stop me from coming here with all smiles for one of the great masterpieces of the 1980’s, and in my view the finest film by the great genius Peter Greenaway. Gambon is a hoot, the painterly set design is brilliant, emphasizing the color red, and Michael Nyman’s ravishing score perfectly captures the film’s almost otherwordly essemnce with some soaring lyricism. Great choice of dialogue here for sure, though of course the film is stacked in that department.

    Gambon is the ultimate bully. Helen Mirren is magnificent.

    So sartre my friend, I am with you lock, stock and….oyster!

    I like BELLY too, and would enthusiastically add NIGHTWATCHING, PROSPERO’S BOOKS. THE PILLOW BOOK and THE BABY OF MACON to the mix.

  3. Glad to see the troops rallying behind this one. I think this was the first Greenaway I saw in a theater at the time of its release. I was half surprised to see how well it holds up. Mirren and Gambon breathe life into the structural formality, though I have to admit when I was younger it was just that formality that appealed to me with the color coded rooms etc.

  4. I want to give the creative partnership between Greenaway and Michael Nyman a shout out too. So many wonderful scores that made Greenaway’s films even more powerful.

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