If the title isn’t enough to grab your attention, the fact the film is based on the book by food critic and Food Channel sensation Anthony Bourdain, should seal the deal. “Food noir thriller”, is how a producer introducing the film described it at SXSW. Indeed Bone in the Throat is just that, filled with suspense and food which might seem like an odd combination, yet an appropriate film to debut at Austin’s overpopulated film festival, a city known for its food. Last year Chef reinvented worldwide interest in the food truck and now Bone in the Throat shows you how deadly the people behind the scenes of fancy restaurants can be. From the sexually explicit opening credits, craftily edited with sizzling food dishes, the pace is set before the story begins.

 Will Reeves (Westwick) just wants to be a top chef in London’s premiere food corridor. Currently the sous-chef at Forks, an exclusive restaurant for the rich and famous; his job opportunity isn’t just because of his talent but through Uncle Ronnie’s criminal connections. Will is also dating Sophie (Kirby), daughter of  Forks restaurateur. On his way to being top chef, the business of the underworld finds its way into the restaurant and Will’s life. Although Ronnie (Nyman) had promised to keep Will out of criminal dealings, his lack of clarity and thirst for violence has put everyone at risk. Will must keep a dangerous secret that threatens to ruin his career, relationship and cost his life if he makes the wrong move.

 From the bold soundtrack choice that pumps loud in the right moments to the blood splatter in the kitchen, even the editing is edgy. It’s a sharp looking film that should keep the viewer entertained by never providing a simple solution to the seemingly deep grave the lead character is placed. One of the reasons Bone in the Throat works so well is the dirty, disgusting and vile performance from Nyman as the fish eating Uncle Ronnie or “The Rug”. If the audience doesn’t hate this character and get uncomfortable every time he enters the kitchen or shares a scene then the suspense is broken. Nyman portrays the ultimate baddie. Of course it furthers lays weight to the story when Oscar nominated Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins) is the fancy, food obsessed, thug king.

 As we saw in A Most Violent Year, again we see a good guy, trying really hard to do things the honest and professional way, yet seemingly being dragged into the darkness from which he resists. Bone in the Throat plays it much closer to the thriller gene, but it’s the same formula. The use of the snarky investigating detective is also very well played by actor Steven Mackintosh, providing one more example of what happens when oil is mixed with water . I found it curious how food continually remained the centerpiece of everything going on in the film, not just around our protagonist minding the kitchen, but literally the starting point for each scene.

  Final Thought – A tightly woven thriller surrounded by food and a disgustingly original villain.

 Grade B

By: Dustin Chase