Coming from writer/director Christoffer Boe and Magnolia Pictures is life and A TASTE OF HUNGER.
Carsten (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is an up-and-coming chef looking to open a place of his own someday. He meets a very wild spirited Maggie (Katrine Greis-Rosenthal) and there is an instant connection that not only sparks their love of creating food but a life together.
Opening a restaurant together, the goal becomes beginning the chase of the ever-elusive Michelin star. Years have gone by and now the restaurant is a reality and Carsten is spending lots of time keeping it running smoothly. Maggie is running the household, taking care of daughter Chloe (Flora Augusta) and son August (August Vinkel) and their lives are hectic.
Working hard, Carsten becomes engrossed in every aspect of being a chef and Maggie sees him begin to push away. Out of frustration, she tries to relive her wild days all in one night, but the consequences are long lasting. It comes about when a mysterious letter arrives for Carsten, but Maggie finds it.
A few words on paper could destroy the journey to the stars, especially if there are too many chefs in the kitchen!
Coster-Waldau as Carsten is a driven chef and Maggie is his reason for it all. This character gets so wrapped up in a single drive that he forgets love, his family and those who have been there for him. It is a journey of hard lessons and Coster-Waldau makes sure we see every bit of it. The frustration, fear and everything in between.
Greis-Rosenthal as Maggie is drawn to Carsten and discovers they share such a vision together. She is a bit wild and that is an attractant to Carsten. There beginning is so filled with dreams, but Maggie also gets lost along the way. As a wife-mother, Greis-Rosenthal’s character tries to have it all and the ‘all’ goes to far until the consequences come due.
Augusta as Chloe is a young girl caught up in grown-ups’ games. This young actress shows such believable emotions that she stunned me with her performance. Trying to forgive parents that seem to be going a million miles an hour and are making huge mistakes, it is young Chloe that is keenly aware of it all.
Credit to Charlie Gustafsson as Frederick; a hungry sous chef who wants what he wants and will use people to get it. Frederick takes advantage and Maggie has to set it straight but, a rat is a rat.
Other cast includes Nicolas Bro as Torben, Maj-Britt Mathiesen as Pia, Dag Malmberg as Stellan, Rasmus Hammerich as Frank and Magnus Bruun as Andus.
Magnolia Pictures is responsible for such releases as SLAY THE DRAGON, JOHN LEWIS: Good Trouble, the crime thriller THE WHISTLERS, documentaries such as THE PIECES I AM and films such as the directorial debut of Italian filmmaker Filippo Meneghetti. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.magpictures.com.
A TASTE OF HUNGER shows its duality from beginning to end. Of course, it is a film about the beauty, brilliance, and hunger of chefs not to mention their struggles to succeed. Constantly having to be more creative, more inventive, and just, well, more – the stakes are extremely high.
The other is the hunger for life, family and love which also includes trying to fill emptiness with whatever looks good to make the pain go away. In this case, both Carsten and Maggie have to decide which beast to feed. More importantly, be willing to accept the consequences when they choose wrong.
The story of Carsten and Maggie is peppered with all the flavors with bitters mixed in. Beautifully done and lovely to watch, A TASTE OF HUNGER is an amazing piece of storytelling and simplistic filmmaking which made me enjoy it even more.
In the end – prepare your plate with perfection!