Friday, May 5, 2017

The Dinner Movie Review

Steve Coogan, Richard Gere & Rebecca Hall (r) star in The Dinner

An Act of War

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: When Stan Lohman (Richard Gere), a popular congressman running for governor, invites his troubled younger brother Paul (Steve Coogan) and his wife Claire (Laura Linney) to join him and his wife Katelyn (Rebecca Hall) for dinner at one of the town's most fashionable restaurants, the stage is set for a tense night. While Stan and Paul have been estranged since childhood, their 16-year-old sons are friends, and the two of them have committed a horrible crime that has shocked the country. While their sons' identities have not yet been discovered and may never be, their parents must now decide what action to take. As the night proceeds, beliefs about the true natures of the four people at the table are upended, relationships shatter, and each person reveals just how far they are willing to go to protect those they love. Directed by Oren Moverman.

"Great dinner and great company comes at great expense." Paul may be cynical (and obnoxious, and rude, etc.) but give him credit... he has a firm handle on The Dinner. It's a terrific story (Herman Koch) but the U.S. film version runs into difficulty away from the table, especially the scenes involving the boys... two teenage degenerates of the worst order, and Paul's incessant flashbacks/ramblings. I prefer the 2014 Italian drama, which is a lot more subtle and better constructed. The potential was there (Coogan, Gere, Hall & Linney) but Moverman misses the boat entirely. What a shame.

Grade: D