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The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover

(1989)
In Theaters 04/6/1990 , 123min.
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Plot & Details

This is probably Peter Greenaway's most famous (or infamous) film, which first shocked audiences at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival and then on both sides of the Atlantic. A gang leader (Michael Gambon), accompanied by his wife (Helen Mirren) and his associates, entertains himself every night in a fancy French restaurant that he has recently bought. Having tired of her sadistic, boorish husband, the wife finds herself a lover (Alan Howard) and makes love to him in the restaurant's coziest places with the silent permission of the cook (Richard Bohringer). Though less cerebral than Greenaway's other films, featuring deadly passions reminiscent of Jacobean revenge tragedies of the early 17th century, the picture still offers the director's usual ironic and paradoxical comments on the relations between eating and sex, love and death. The film is at once funny and horrific, and those who are not used to Greenaway's peculiar style might be even disgusted or shocked; however, one might mention Sacha Vierny's brilliant camerawork, Jean-Paul Gaultier's gaudily stylized costumes, and Michael Nyman's somber, pulsating music, which will haunt the viewer long after the film's end.

Independent Spirit Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
2013 Independent Spirit Awards Best Foreign Film Peter Greenaway Nominated

Telluride Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1989 Telluride Film Festival Film Presented Nominated

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