Food films tend to start gently, with idealistic chefs ensuring their herbs are fresh and peaches ripe; only later do challenges appear, as manufactured tension not very threateningly mounts. Boiling Point will have none of that. Writer-director Philip Barantini’s riveting drama, brilliantly staged in a single take, unsparingly starts in the thick of it with a London restaurant staff already in over their heads on the last Friday before Christmas, and assumes tragic proportions from there. Head chef Andy (the ever-magnetic Stephen Graham) has all manner of disaster imminent: The sous chef struggles to open an oyster; the health inspector has more than a few questions; Andy’s former partner arrives unannounced to collect a debt and brings a famous food critic as his date. What ensues is a harrowing, pitiless—yet humane—appraisal of the fine-dining subculture. Graham leads a brilliant ensemble, with Vinette Robinson also a standout. –Ravinder Kingra
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
Tuesday, Oct 12, 7:30pm, Smith Rafael Film Center
Thursday, Oct 14, 12:00pm, Smith Rafael Film Center
$14 Member | $16.50 General | $15 Senior | $8 Students & Youth (12 & Under)
Philip Barantini began his career as an actor before moving into filmmaking. He made his directing debut with Villain (2020). His second feature, Boiling Point, grew out of his 2019 British Independent Film Award-nominated short of the same name.