Bitter Feast. 2010. USA. Written and directed by Joe Maggio. With James Le Gros, Joshua Leonard, Amy Seimetz. DCP. Courtesy MPI Media. 95 min.
To the sort of person who looks at a Jackson Pollock and says, “My kid could do that,” Joe Maggio offers his wickedly funny and nasty riposte Bitter Feast. Inspired by New York Times food critic Frank Bruni’s skewering of a Gordon Ramsey restaurant, a review Maggio himself reviewed as “odd, middling, lazy…totally ridiculous and unfair,” the film stars Fessenden-favorite James Le Gros as a pompous celebrity television chef who kidnaps and imprisons a smug food blogger (the deliciously insufferable Joshua Leonard), subjecting him to a torture chamber of culinary trials. “Maggio reveals a fluency in the horror-genre vocabulary while also translating it to his own twisted ends…. Technical credits are tops, notably Jeff Grace’s score and its recurrent themes, and the beautiful work of cinematographer Michael McDonough (Winter’s Bone)” (John Anderson, Variety).