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This week I have a foodie movie to share. Nigel Slater is a well-know British chef, television personality, and writer. I was unfamiliar with Slater's personal life, so I was curious about Toast (directed by S. J. Clarkson), which is loosely based on Slater's memoir of the same title.
Nigel's childhood was far from happy. Only two things seem to have brought him joy: dreaming about well-cooked food and the love of his mother. His mother, however, was a notoriously bad cook; if it didn't come from a can, she didn't serve it. Many a night, dinner in the Slater house consisted of toast and tea. Nonetheless, Nigel was devastated when she died when he was only nine.
Later, Nigel's father took notice of their housekeeper. Mrs. Potter was a conniving woman who seemed to be out to make a better life for herself. She and Nigel didn't get along at all, and they competed for Mr. Slater's attention, especially when it came to food. As far as Nigel could tell, Mrs. Potter's only redeeming qualities were her abilities to clean and cook.
It wasn't until Nigel took home ec in high school (he was the only boy in the class) that he began to gain control of his life and finally find happiness.
Toast stars Oscar Kennedy, Victoria Hamilton, and Colin Prockter. It's very well acted, and Kennedy is particularly brilliant as the young Nigel. I recommend the movie to anyone who wants to know more about Slater, who likes true stories, and who likes foodie films.
To learn even more about Slater, visit his website.