Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Dinner (I Nostri Ragazzi) Movie Review

Luigi Lo Cascio & Alessandro Gassmann (r) star in The Dinner

Bad Seeds

Film Movement Plot: Based on the New York Times bestselling novel, THE DINNER turns an ordinary meal among family into a taut morality play as the limits of polite society are tested, and two brothers discover just how little they know about each other. To Massimo (Alessandro Gassmann) a gutsy defense attorney, the monthly dinners with his pediatrician brother Paolo (Luigi Lo Cascio) and their wives at a posh local restaurant are a status symbol, even if the time is spent in forced familiarity and inconsequential conversation about the latest films, the day's news or their children's schoolwork. When Paolo's wife Clara (Giovanna Mezzogiorno) sees disturbing security camera footage of a homeless woman being mercilessly beaten, she worries it may be her teenage son Michele (Jacopo Olmo Antinori) and his cousin, Massimo's daughter Benni (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) who are responsible for the gruesome attack. Their fragile balancing act of respectability and class now shattered, the two families navigate the repercussions of this senseless assault, revealing in the process the skewed priorities and moral shortcomings of their privileged, insulated perspectives.

You never know which direction Ivano De Matteo is going to take you in The Dinner, an intoxicating drama/thriller with plenty of twists & turns. It opens (and closes) with a bang; and in between, we're exposed to a series of moral dilemmas faced by two brothers who live in decidedly different worlds. Yes, there's dinner(s) but it gives way to a shocking twist of fate that generates even more surprising results. Great interplay between the brothers and their wives, tucked inside a 92-minute tornado. "You have to pay for everything eventually." Who knew it was so expensive?