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An Exquisite Meal

USA 2020
produced by
Josh Itzkowitz for Objay Dart Films, Unfurnished Films
directed by Robert Bruce Carter
starring Mike Jimerson, Amrita Dhaliwal, Victoria Nugent, Ross Magyar, Mark Pracht, Emily Marso, Bassam Abdelfattah, Siddhartha Rajan, Luke Johnson
written by Robert Bruce Carter, music by Jessica Jarvis

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Dave (Mike Jimerson) and Irene (Amrita Dhaliwal) have invited some of their friends for dinner, not so much out of love and respect but because Dave is a wannabe chef and wants to bathe in the adoration of his peers, all wannabe-intellectuals like himself and Irene. Thing is, things get quickly a bit awkward with even their besties Mark (Ross Magyar) and Beth (Victoria Nugent) once Dave runs out of things to say about the food he's preparing, which he has chosen an extra long name and description for to kill as much time as possible. But thing get even more awkward when Paul (Mark Pracht), an electrician with no pseudo-intellectual aspirations, crashes the party, claiming to be Annie's (Emily Marso) friend, though his motives might be more sinister - and it becomes clear when Annie, an instructor from Yogi Without Borders, arrives that she hasn't the first idea who he might be. Another surprise guest, Edouard (Bassam Abdelfattah), a philosophy professor from France, is more than welcome though as he gives the shallow small talk at the dinner table some mock depth. The whole gettogether is interrupted though when a man (Siddhartha Rajan) is run over in front of the house, and the little dinner party debates whether or not to call the authorities instead of trying to help him. Also Mark and Beth's marital problems come more and more to the fore, Edouard proves to have more ulterior motives than just talking hot air, all the while dinner just failing to get ready, and Dave gets more and more irritated every time he's asked about it while him playing with his knife looks more and more menacing. And on top of that, where has Paul suddenly disappeared to?


Now this film might not be for everybody, as it is mean-spirited on one hand with no clear good guys in its cast of characters, on the other refuses to explain everything away so to not subvert audience expectations - and these are exactly the reasons why An Exquisite Meal is also lots of fun, it's a biting satire on wannabe-intellectualism and pretensions of the upper middle class that almost naturally shows some parallels to Luís Bunuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie almost naturally, if only in theme and irony, not in style of approach. And that the film goes visceral eventually and in a slightly random way even only contributes to the movie's attraction. And an able cast who play it straight manage to really ground the movie and help making it into one darkly enjoyable and entertaining piece of cinema.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD