Toast

 (353)
1 h 36 min201113+
Based on the bittersweet story of food writer Nigel Slater's childhood, this memoir is a delicious love letter to the tastes and smells that a young boy associates with his journey into adulthood.
Directors
S.J. Clarkson
Starring
Helena-Bonham CarterFreddie HighmoreOscar Kennedy
Genres
ComedyDramaRomance
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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More details

Supporting actors
Victoria HamiltonColin Prockter
Studio
Ammo Content
Content advisory
Foul languagenuditysexual contentsmoking
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

353 global ratings

  1. 49% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 23% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 8% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 10% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Wes MahanReviewed in the United States on September 19, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Best film I've watched in several years
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I'm an American who lived in the UK for 20 years. And this is the ultimate example of those small-budget British films that manage to outshine the biggest blockbuster films: humourous, subtle, poignant, thoughtful and 100% charming. Best film I've watched in years. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but it's mine.
40 people found this helpful
NY BibliophileReviewed in the United States on October 22, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
Love the Actors, Nigel Slater? Not So Much.
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I'm on a different page than the reviewers who loved this film. Coming of age? Okay. I suppose. Diary of a brat with dad and mom issues? That's what came across.

Nigel Slater seemed to have wanted his father's love and approval until the day his dad died. His father was of the sort who didn't show it and lost his temper quite bit. Maybe because his wife was sickly and he didn't know how to deal with it? Maybe because he didn't understand his son? Maybe his son knew there were problems but didn't know what was going on? Later on, maybe because he was a bit of a d**k? He saw his step-mother as competition for his father's attention, love and praise. He chose to hate his step-mother for years because she was "common" and "their house cleaner", and not his mother. After a while, I felt bad for his father and step-mother.

The good acting, the many shots of English foods, and few laughable moments did not make up for the fact that this film is not a feel-good coming-of-age film nor a lighthearted one with some comedy but is quite dark.

3 stars for the actors and the food.
19 people found this helpful
HuongReviewed in the United States on October 21, 2018
2.0 out of 5 stars
A movie where I dislike all the main cast
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Toast, the title leads you to believe something warm, something endearing, but always brings you back the bitter and uneasiness. Even at the very ending, I can't empathy for the main character. Really, I don't like Nigel as a person, because he is depicted as such a closed-minded stuck up kid, maybe like his father? maybe like English people at the time? maybe because his life was just stuck... but none was that was shown. I just see that the boy is pouty about everything but the thought of eating and making good food. Perhaps this storytelling is not moving enough for me. Burned-out movies are in trend, but without the right rhythm, and climatic momentum, it just falls flat. All the characters developments were short lived. I don't like or dislike both of the women, they both do their best to fit into Nigel or Nigel's father's expectation. Each has their own temperament and circumstances, and yet Nigel is the short fuse boy who just not pleased with people around him. So maybe the reason I can't enjoy this movie because Nigel is a spoiled brat with hidden talent and ofc inability to cope with others. I don't see any cruelty that is worth empathized for Nigel, he's just a difficult person to live with tbh. I don't know the real Nigel or his personality, but if this is to depict his childhood, I think it's just bland.
8 people found this helpful
Kira S.Reviewed in the United States on April 1, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
Sad, dramatic coming of age film - NOT a comedy
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WARNING: SPOILERS *** I don't see this as a comedy at all. A young boy loses his mother, before that his father treats him very badly, then his father marries a woman the son despises and who despises him as well - what is funny about that? It is good to know that the main character went on to fame and fortune and his stepmother apparently vanishes into obscurity. I watched it strictly to see Freddie Highmore. It was worth it for that reason alone.
10 people found this helpful
AnonReviewed in the United States on May 28, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Food is love? Maybe not
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Spoilers ahead.

"Toast" is a unique movie. I would say it is a memory play. Like memory, it's patchy at times, with not all things explained. Bits and pieces of scenery; dialogue here and there; some things left out and some things exaggerated.

Did his mother really attempt cooking by putting unopened tins of food in a pan of water? Did the family really eat only toast at mealtime? The tone of most of the film is a sort of fairy tale or heightened realism. It's almost like someone's dream of days gone by, plucked from their memory and shown onto a flickering movie screen.

Did his father's inamorata really have a mania for cleaning and chain smoking? What was her situation with her husband? Was he alive or dead? She at times seems a lovelorn hausfrau and at times the witch from Hansel and Gretel, fattening his father up for the kill. There's very little about her that seems realistic, but perhaps that is deliberate.

Did Nigel's father really sneer at him that often? Did his mother do little else besides reach for an inhaler? What was her health problem? If his father told Nigel to wait until morning to open his gifts, why didn't he -- how did Nigel know his mother had died? Why isn't his mother's death shown in the film?

There are some strange choices made but the overall impression is like a watercolor. View it too closely and it lacks cohesion. View it as a whole and there is a definite life story to be seen.

The old saying goes "food is love," yet in this film, the mother who loves Nigel and who he loves can barely make toast. The woman who later wins his father's heart "by way of his stomach" can cook and bake like no other, yet she and Nigel barely tolerate one another. Nigel resolves early on to never like his father's friend/cleaner/new love, and he never budges in that.

Mrs. Potter, for her part, while continuing to cook, bake, clean, and keep house with the power of ten women and world class chefs, never seems to see Nigel as he is. It's a pity they compete over cooking rather than bond over it, but neither can truly empathize with the other.

So in this film at least, food is not love; Mrs. Potter's overweening culinary attentions to Nigel's father seemingly contribute to his death, from heart disease. She knows the difference because at the end she promises Nigel she will only cook healthy foods from then on. So the film implies throughout that she deliberately uses food as a weapon: undermining and competing with Nigel for his place in his father's heart, and damaging his father's heart by stuffing his father night and day with freshly made delights.

His mother, in sainted memory, really never "fed" Nigel in any real way other than, she was his mother and never sought to hurt him. Otherwise she is portrayed as sickly and ineffectual at taking care of her family.

Interesting because the one food his mother made, toast, is enough for Nigel to cling onto and take with him as the symbol of "food is love" as he built his own eventual culinary career.

There is a subplot which may make some viewers uncomfortable: boy Nigel peers at the young gardener changing in the shed. He later is kissed by a co worker. Nigel in that scene is 16 and his co worker at least in his twenties. All of this is presented as if natural but some may find overtones of abuse in those scenes.

There's pity to be had for "Mrs. Potter," the character played by Helena Bonham Carter: With all her talent, she lives in poverty and relies upon the kindness of men for her survival. The film unironically looks down on her because she "lives in a council house" and "is just a cleaner," but with her talent for cooking and baking, why did no one suggest she open her own restaurant? Or go to cooking school?

Nigel makes his escape in the end, to a fancy hotel kitchen in another city, but Mrs. Potter is stuck in the home she plotted for, alone, with a cake no one is there to eat.
Momof5.0Reviewed in the United States on April 29, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Impressive
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The main reason I flagged the film as prospective entertainment was because Helen Bonham-Carter was starring in it. Well anyone that knows me well knows that I love the personalities she frequently plays as well as Johnny Depp and Tim Burton films so I have to see this. I love to cook and my husband loves to eat so this movie was a double whammy for me. The story was wonderful, characters were very well rounded. But I wish they further delved into the conflict because it comes off as a child that never fully healed from the loss of his mother and his emotionally handicapped father was no help. Here comes a new woman that like most cooks we express our love with food to those we care about. That effort to create something that makes others experience emotions why eating it is remarkable. The boy who has always found food fascinating never picks up on this? My 4 children ( yeah 4!) have grown up eating homemade from scratch meals and in my house everyone knows that when Mom is in the kitchen its the best place to be. As soon as they walked they were by my side waiting, hoping for a sample of what Mom was creating. I feel this factor should have been something a real character would have been confronted with but yet he ate all this food for years and in no way enjoyed it or related that maybe it was Mrs. Potters way of showing love and care. I loved it, I loved Helen's acting as usual but to me that story could have had more conflict that created a less frustrating ending. (never good to have your audience at the end filled with questions).
One person found this helpful
errin spellingReviewed in the United States on April 20, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
he loved his mother even though she ruined all the food, except the toast
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maybe his father was mean , because he had nothing to eat, except bread. they had vegetables in the garden, but were afraid to eat them. the mother cooked tins of vegetables , in the tin ,in boiling water. my love thinks they would have blown up. they have a cake mixer , that jumps out of a hidden compartment in the counter and scares you. the father fires the gardner which causes a lot of turmoil. one day nigel made pasta for his parents and they would not eat it. the father said he didn't like the smell of the cheese. what was he to do except become a chef. the cleaning lady was married and she left her husband for Nigel's father and she was rude to him and he to her. they both tried to outcook each other. at one point she becomes nice or tries to , but the boy can't have any of it.
PandoraSDReviewed in the United States on April 8, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Hilarious, not for young kids
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I loved this but had to send my kid away in the first 10 min. I thought it would be more about the joy of food but it’s not. Amazing performances by all, but a lot of adult themes that aren’t appropriate for young kids despite the focus on a young boy’s life. He doesn’t have a healthy relationship with either parent or step-mother. Yes he loves his mom but gosh, what a mess! Who boils sealed cans??? Lolololol! I laughed so hard at all the food disasters. Definitely a memorable film!
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