The Dinner
Starring: Starring Alessandro Gassmann, Luigi Lo Cascio, Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Barbora Bobulova, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, Jacopo Olmo Antinori
Directed by: Ivano de Matteo

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This star-studded Italian film asks just how far family loyalties, and protection of those you love, can go. And, The Dinner has been beautifully created for film from a best selling novel by Herman Koch by director Ivano de Matteo.

Real family dynamics are on full display here; no Norman Rockwell-esque illusions of a table filled with adoration and respect. Um, no. One boisterous brother defends seemingly horrid clients in court, while the other saves children’s lives in hospital; high power attorney vs. pediatrician. The two, along with wives-in-tow, meet for a tense play on dinner each month at a swanky restaurant. With each evening they do the family tolerance dance like a competitive competition. They chat and chew friendly enough but the undercurrents are deep, dark, and you know just bellow the surface are sea-monster big issues waiting to battle ala Ghidoraha meets Carcinus.

Then there’s the offspring we meet at home; each brother has a child, about the same age, that hang out together socially. These two, a girl and a boy, enjoy watching violent videos and generally being kinda generic self-centered teens with obligatory roles-assigned – the popular perfect façaded gal and the quiet angst-ridden boy...

After an alcohol riddled party the two do something really cruel and life-changing to someone they’ve dismissed as useless. As security footage, and knowledge of the horrific deed, bathes over the parents like a hailstorm of volcanic spew, their reactions immediately take the already polarized and fracture the core. Their weighing of options begins.

The Dinner builds upon morality and family a subject that translates into any language. And, here, makes one helluva film.

Buy It

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