The Dinner (I) (2017)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Thriller


The Dinner (2017) Poster

Two sets of wealthy parents meet for dinner to decide what to do about a crime their sons have committed.

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4.5/10
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  • Richard Gere at an event for The Dinner (2017)
  • Rebecca Hall at an event for The Dinner (2017)
  • Benjamin Snyder at an event for The Dinner (2017)
  • Richard Gere at an event for The Dinner (2017)
  • Oren Moverman at an event for The Dinner (2017)
  • Laura Linney at an event for The Dinner (2017)

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25 May 2017 | vsks
5
| Everyone in "The Dinner" must have severe indigestion!
I have a friend who doesn't like intense family dramas—too many bad associations. He'll have to avoid The Dinner (the trailer gives too much away, BTW), written and directed by Oren Moverman. The movie is based on Dutch author Herman Koch's excellent novel (2013), which I greatly admired. It's told in the first person, and I wondered how the narrator's snide and witty commentary would translate to the screen. That aspect of it worked differently in the book and survived less successfully in the film, with biting humor replaced by mental chaos. Steve Coogan plays Paul Lohman, an erstwhile high school history teacher who loathes (actually, is desperately jealous of) his politically successful older brother Stan (Richard Gere), now embarking on a gubernatorial campaign. The brothers and their wives (Laura Linney and Rebecca Hall) are to have dinner at an exclusive restaurant, but Paul at least is not looking forward to it. Nor should he be. Stan has an agenda. He wants to discuss something truly awful—criminal, in fact—their teenage sons have done, which could explode all their lives. Comparisons with Roman Polanski's Carnage are perhaps inevitable, but the fireworks and the damage here are all in the family. The kids who caused the whole debacle are weakly portrayed, and the movie, unlike the novel, ends ambiguously. If your focus is on strong performances, this is a worthy effort. If you want a convincing story, read the book.

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