The Menu: Anya Taylor-Joy’s latest film is now streaming on Disney+

The Menu: Anya Taylor-Joy’s latest film is now streaming on Disney+

The Menu, a culinary thriller-comedy from Succession director Mark Mylod, is now available to stream on Disney+.

The film stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult as a couple who are going on an exclusive dining experience. They are taken by boat to a private island with a small group of guests who have also all paid thousands of dollars for the opportunity.

But things aren’t what they seem: celebrity chef Julian Slowik (played by Ralph Fiennes) instead plans to kill all of his unfortunate guests by the end of the night. Taylor-Joy’s character, Margot, is the first to clock that something is off, and her suspicions are confirmed as Slowik’s sadistic scheme starts to unfold.

The film comes in a long line of recent TV shows and films that are laughing at the ultra-rich (think, Triangle of Sadness, The Crown, Succession, The White Lotus): “Anti-capitalism is hot again,” said one UK newspaper about The Menu. Town & Country said the film focuses on “the restaurant industry and the one per cent, skewering both perfectly”.

The Menu was first released in cinemas on November 11 (in the UK it opened on November 18) and has since raked in $73 million worldwide, with a reported budget of $30 million.

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Menu (THE MENU Trailer)
Anya Taylor-Joy in The Menu (THE MENU Trailer)

On the whole, critics enjoyed The Menu: “ultimately this is a near perfectly executed meal of a movie, made with exceptional ingredients and skill,” said one UK newspaper, while another said, “Dumb but delicious, The Menu is a feast for the senses, if not the brain”.

The New York Times said, “The Menu is black, broad and sometimes clumsy, attacking its issues more often with cleaver than paring knife. Yet everyone is having such a good time, it’s impossible not to join them.”

The cast also includes Janet McTeer (Ozark) who plays a food critic, Hong Chau (The Whale) who plays the restaurant’s maitre d’ and John Leguizamo (John Wick) who plays an actor who is past his prime.

The Menu marks Mylod’s return to directing after a decade - his last movie was 2011’s What’s Your Number? The screenplay was written by Seth Reiss, who worked on Late Night with Seth Myers for six years, and Will Tracy, who wrote several episodes of Succession and who worked on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Nicholas Hoult, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Ralph Fiennes at the New York premiere of The Menu (Getty Images)
Nicholas Hoult, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Ralph Fiennes at the New York premiere of The Menu (Getty Images)

“We were both intrigued by this type of restaurant at this moment in culinary history,” said Tracy to Town & Country. “It’s somewhat falling out of fashion—the scary, white, usually male chef. And Slowik knows that a bit. There’s an anxiety about it all coming to an end: ‘What I am doing has to mean something more than just pleasing these people I can’t stand.’

“[The film is] in some ways a love letter to this type of restaurant when it’s done well, but also about all the bullsh*t.”

At the 2023 Golden Globes, which is set to take place next week in California, The Menu is in the running for two awards: Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy for Fiennes and Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy for Taylor-Joy.

This year Taylor-Joy also starred in Robert Egger’s marmite Norse action thriller The Northman, and in David O. Russell’s period comedy Amsterdam. Fiennes last starred in 2021’s The King’s Man, and will also reunite with Wes Anderson in Anderson’s next film, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, which is based on the short story by Roald Dahl and which is set to be released in 2023.

The Menu is now available to stream on Disney+