“Toast,” the tale of a Brit food writer, mostly meanders like a ditched dinghy – until final act

“Toast” is a peculiar “family” story where a father (played by Ken Stott) and son Nigel (Oscar Kennedy, when young; Freddie Highmore, when older) in 1960s England clash before and after the his mother (played by Victoria Hamilton) has passed on.

The family is used to simple, banal suppers: mom has the opposite of the Midas touch in the kitchen.  When Nigel asks his mum to bake a cake with him, she concedes “if we have to.”  Nigel daydreams about being either a grocer or cook, with grateful customers.  Frustrated, the middle school age Nigel is ambitious: he wants to cook for his family, show them that dinner can be something better than buttered toast – seriously!

Mum and son struggle to bake a cake in "Toast" (Courtesy: W2 media)

When Mrs. Potter, their housekeeper (Helena Bonham Carter) arrives, she excites the dad in ways he’d forgotten, and pushes Nigel’s buttons as she seems inclined to take his mom’s place.

As happens in some misguided movies, this one is vague and meanders without purpose, with the most interesting plotting waiting the final act!  By then, an older Nigel begins to compete with the new woman of the house, Mrs. Potter, to satisfy his dad’s stomach.  She won’t play nice.

And, then it’s fun.  This opens at the Edina Cinema on Oct. 14th.

This might be splendid inside baseball for foodies.  Until the final act, others’ll feel they’ve been plunged into the deep end.

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