Sunday, 2 January 2011


On TV: Thursday 30th December
Channel: BBC1 9-10.30pm
Episode Type: One-off drama yet 

In 1 Sentence: 
Beautiful poignant drama with wonderful acting (and food!) on display.

BBC Summary: 
Adaptation of chef Nigel Slater's autobiography, providing a nostalgic trip through everything edible in 1960s Britain, and telling the bittersweet story of Nigel's childhood. 

“No matter how bad things get it’s impossible not to love someone who made you toast. Once you’ve bitten through that crusty surface, to the soft dough underneath, and tasted the warm salty butter - you’re lost forever.” 

-From young Nigel’s opening Monologue

My review:
What you come away with after watching Toast is the cosy sensation of nostalgia with a stab of melancholy. Nonetheless it was charmingly shot and the sets and lighting were done with heartfelt care. 

The star of the show for me was Oscar Kennedy, who played the young Nigel. He was so superb that after his hour or so on screen I was sad to see Nigel growing up - making way for Freddie Highmore. You could feel his every emotion like a stab in the heart: his longing for fresh produce, for his mum to survive, for Mrs Potters to leave - all in his eyes. 
Also worth a mention is, of course, Helena Bonham Carter playing the wicked step-mother to perfection, so much so that I even felt sorry for her when Nigel left her all alone - that’s true acting.

The food was seemingly a role in itself, where in almost every scene pork pies, spaghetti bolognese and lemon meringues filled up the screen with a haze of nostalgia for 1960’s cooking. The detail that went into the locations and costumes was sublime, I am constantly amazed at how well the BBC can recreate such an era gone by. 
The directing too was stunning, especially when Nigel was left home alone and danced with his mother’s dress: it brought tears to my eyes. 

Overall Toast is must-see winter viewing - as it was for the 6.2 million who have already seen it. 
Score: 8.5/10

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