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Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Dinner (2017)

Two brothers and their wives have dinner at an ultra upscale restaurant, the kind where the waiter spends 5 minutes telling you about the dish you've just been served. One is a politician (Richard Gere) running for Governor and his second, much younger wife (Rebecca Hall). The other is an academic (Steve Coogan) with a history of mental illness and his wife (Laura Linney), a cancer survivor. Based on the Dutch novel by Herman Koch and directed by Oren Moverman. Actually, this is the third film version of the novel. It was previously filmed in the Netherlands in 2013 and in Italy in 2014. I've not read Koch's book nor have I seen either of the previous films but this is one depressing and disturbing film and I suspect a polarizing one. First impressions of its characters are eventually turned upside down. Gere's smarmy and obsessed politician turns out to be the only character with a moral backbone while Linney's loving wife and mother and cancer survivor turns into a morally bankrupt Lady MacBeth! Unfortunately, Moverman can't seem to stay focused on the core of the film and we get too many random flashbacks which dilute the potency of the material, at least until the last half hour when he lets it rip! An unsettling peek into "white privilege" and the monsters they spawn. With Chloe Sevigny, Adepero Oduye, Michael Chernus and Charlie Plummer.  

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