If you’re hungry for a thrilling movie and a juicy cheeseburger, then you should check out The Menu which is now streaming on Hulu. The 2022 film that stars Anya Taylor-Joy is a gripping, suspenseful journey that will leave you with a satiated appetite, at least when it comes to entertainment.
In The Menu, a group of guests visit an exclusive restaurant on a private island that is run by the renowned chef Julian Slowik. Two of the guests include Tyler Ledford (Nicholas Hoult), a self-proclaimed foodie, and his date, Margot Mills (Anya Taylor-Joy). But once the guests arrive on the secluded island, there is no turning back.
Anya Taylor-Joy leads an amazing cast in The Menu, now streaming on Hulu.
The idea for the movie was inspired by a real-life event when screenwriter Will Tracey had dinner at a prestigious restaurant (Cornelius Sjømatrestaurant) in Norway. Once he arrived on the island, he realized that he was essentially trapped there until the dinner was over. It sparked the idea for the thrilling movie, and he wrote the script for The Menu along with Seth Reiss.
While the film will have you on the edge of your seat wondering how Anya Taylor-Joy and the rest of the guests could possibly survive their predicament, there are also moments of humor and levity. This is partly thanks to the hilarious production team of Adam McKay, Betsy Koch, and Will Ferrell, and also thanks to director Mark Mylod, who gave each actor a “freebie” to improvise their own material after scripted takes were finished.
To help make the film’s fine dining experience as authentic as possible, several culinary professionals worked as consultants on the production. Chef Dominique Crenn (who has received three Michelin stars) helped bring the film’s menu to life by recreating several dishes from her San Francisco restaurant, Atelier Crenn. Director David Gelb also joined the set to help the filmmakers recreate his style from the Netflix docuseries Chef’s Table.
While Anya Taylor-Joy shines as the main character, Margot, she is joined by several other great actors.
Nicholas Hoult is the foodie Tyler Ledford, the one who is responsible for bringing Margot to the island in the first place. Ralph Fiennes does a wonderful job portraying Chef Slowik, the egotistical yet twisted mind behind the exclusive restaurant. John Leguizamo plays a washed-up celebrity who thinks he’s a foodie—he reportedly based his character on Steven Segal after the two didn’t get along while working on Executive Decision.
The Menu was Anya Taylor-Joy’s best movie in 2022, bringing in nearly $80 million at the box office.
Filming for The Menu took place in Savannah, Georgia, while some of the island scenes were filmed on the shore of Jekyll Island. Since this was filmed during the pandemic, the crew had to rehearse together in a bubble, which helped their on-screen performances since their characters are essentially trapped in a bubble together.
In September 2022, the Anya Taylor-Joy film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, shortly before its United States premiere at Fantastic Fest. It was released to over 3,000 United States theaters, the widest release for Searchlight Pictures. It ended up grossing a total of $79.6 million worldwide against a budget of $30 million.
Overall, The Menu received positive reviews from critics, with many including food-related puns in their writeups, as is to be expected. Many enjoyed the fairly original storyline and the balance between the film’s genuinely terrifying predicament and its dark humor.
John Leguizamo plays a washed-up celebrity who thinks he’s a foodie—he reportedly based his character on Steven Segal after the two didn’t get along while working on Executive Decision.
The film received many award nominations and ended up winning the Audience Award from Fantastic Fest as well as Best Picture and the Gary Murray Award (Best Ensemble) from North Texas Film Critics Association Awards. Anya Taylor-Joy received several nominations, including Actor of the Year from the Columbus Film Critics Association Awards, but ultimately did not win any. Ralph Fiennes won Best Actor in a Horror Movie from the Critics’ Choice Super Awards.
The Menu is just one of many great films from Anya Taylor-Joy, who has starred in Last Night in Soho and Amsterdam in addition to voicing Princess Peach in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Next up, she is starring in Furiosa as the titular character alongside Chris Hemsworth and Angus Sampson. The film has been in production for years but is slated to be released on May 24, 2024.
Before you start streaming The Menu on Hulu, you should order some food to enjoy while you watch it. Trust us, you’re going to get hungry.