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VOD Release: Nose to Tail

April 29, 2020

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Director Jesse Zigelstein’s Canadian chef drama Nose to Tail, which had screened at the Canadian Film Fest in 2019, is being released on VOD this week. This at-home release follows the film’s limited theatrical run back in February, a month before the theatre shutdowns started.

The film centres around Daniel (Aaron Abrams), a brilliant but arrogant chef who owns and operates a high-end restaurant in Toronto, and is struggling to save his business from bankruptcy and other turmoil, as a series of personal struggles collide with his business.

The story unfolds over a single day and night, as Daniel clashes with his staff, fires his sous chef (Brandon McKnight), makes inappropriate advances towards his front of house manager (Lara Jean Chorostecki), and tries to pick a fight with the trendy food truck across the street, all while preparing for the dinner time arrival of an old friend (Ennis Esmer), whom he he has invited for a lavish meal in hopes that he will invest in the restaurant.

Zigelstein, making his feature film debut, keeps Nose to Tail moving full speed ahead at a brisk and engaging pace, and there is not an ounce of fat to be found throughout the film’s lean eighty minute running time. Abrams matches this energy beat for beat, and does an excellent job of carrying the film with an intense and extremely watchable performance as an increasingly unhinged chef getting what he has coming to him as he experiences probably the worst day of his life.

Make no mistakes, Abrams is the main attraction of Nose to Tail, and he kills it in the role, offering a gripping portrayal of a character whose unbridled hubris is rapidly accelerating his downfall. It’s not always pretty to watch, but we can’t take our eyes off of him. The end result is an incredibly entertaining portrait of a raging narcissist who uses has own talents as an excuse for treating others badly, even as the walls close in around him, and it provides a great showcase for its leading actor.

Nose to Tail is now available to purchase and rent on a variety of VOD platforms, including iTunes.

A version of this review was originally published during the 2019 Canadian Film Festival.

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