Thursday, March 09, 2023

Best Movies of 2022, #2: The Menu

My favorite of the three boat/island/rich/poor/murder movies this year, and, in fact, my favorite American movie of the year.

I’ve said before that I only go see movies on recommendations from people I trust or if it’s a brand I know I like. Once I’ve decided to see a movie, I try to avoid seeing the trailer. I like to go in fresh.

This movie was different. I did this old school. Betsy and I went to see Nope, which was just okay (It didn’t get a “Not on the List” post because I didn’t have much to say about it. Suffice it to say it was not as great as Peele’s previous two movies.) Before the movie, there were, of course, lots of trailers, and, for whatever reason, I simply found the trailer for The Menu to be very appealing. I loved the cast, and it just looked like it would be a fun movie to see on a date night.

So I proposed to Betsy that we see it in the theater, just based on liking the trailer, and she agreed. The whole experience too me back to my youth. And we just flat out loved this movie. My best movie theater experience since Summer of Soul.

Anya Taylor-Joy proved in “The Queen’s Gambit” that she has more than enough charisma to carry a movie, and I was so glad she got the chance to deliver here. But the biggest draw is Ralph Fiennes. He’s never won an Oscar, and this should have been it (they could have gone with lead or supporting) but he didn’t even get a nomination. He’s riveting.

Horror Comedy is a tricky genre to get right. When it’s done right, even people who have no interest in horror, like my wife and I, will still love it. “Stranger Things” has mastered it on the small screen. Peele mastered it in his first two movies but stumbled his third time out. Nope didn’t deliver for me, but it did show me a trailer that eventually gave me what I was looking for. I loathe foodies and I was happy to see them suffer.

Triangle of Sadness had my favorite line of the year, but this one had my second favorite: “He kept you open though Covid!”

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