Recently professionally acquired this British tv movie directed by SJ Clarkson that is based on an autobiographical book written by Nigel Slater of the same name. This movie starts of by telling the viewers that it is based on Nigel’s childhood memories and certain parts of it is changed to add a dramatic effect.
Anyway the movie stars, Helena Bonham Carter as Joan Potter , Freddie Highmore as Older Nigel Slater, Ken Stott as Nigel’s Dad, Oscar Kennedy as Young Nigel Slater, Victoria Hamilton as Nigel’s Mum, Matthew McNulty as Josh and others. Serge loves the performance by Ken Stott and Oscar Kennedy, Helena Bonham Carter did well as the cleaning lady turn stepmother.
Well in the beginning of Toast, we get to know Nigel and his parents who are just like any real life family you can think of though this was a tad worst. Nigel’s mom is a very bad cook, bad to a point that cooking canned food means dropping them into a pot filled with water. His dad was the type that if it is cooked by the wife you eat it and there is no such thing as a complain.
During the first quarter, Nigel befriends the gardener Josh who acts like a big brother to Nigel as he tells him (Nigel) about life and how things are. Later on, Nigel tries to cook a meal for his parents with the help of his mom. Spaghetti Bolognaise was the dish, it went rather well though his dad and mom did not know how to eat it. It was at this part that Nigel’s mom suffered an asthma attack and it was at this point that things took a turn for the worst.
Bickering and fighting pursued in the Slater house as the health of the mother worsened and Nigel feels left out as he does not know what is happening at all. At the end, the mother passes on leaving a distraught father. It was a touching moment during the last few days before Nigel’s mom passed on as she tried her best to bake a mince pie for her son. Even though you might hate the mother for not being a good mom, you can’t help but feel that she indeed gave all that she could for her son.
Just before the movie transitioned over to an older Nigel, we are introduce to their new cleaner, Joan Potter who’s cleaning skill looks like a voyeuristic porn model. Nigel did not like Mrs Potter but his dad did and in the end, they married much to Nigel’s dismay.
A battle of food began with Nigel and his stepmother as they try to win Nigel’s dad’s affection. Tasty delicious food by Mrs Potter and food made in home economics by Nigel. Due to the overabundance of food, Nigel’s dad grows more temperamental. To avoid Mrs Potter, Nigel takes a job at a local pub’s kitchen.
Just at the end of the movie, Nigel’s dad passed away and Nigel packs his bags and leaves his stepmother. Although you might hate the stepmother, but there is a bit of pity that should be given as she gave up everything to be with Nigel’s dad.
This tv movie although slow pace and is mostly dialogue, Serge recommends that you watch it and gives Toast a 7/10
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