The Dinner (2017 film)
The Dinner is an 2017 American drama film directed and written by Oren Moverman, based on the Dutch novel of the same name by Herman Koch. It is the third film adaptation of the novel, following the 2013 original Dutch version Het Diner by Menno Meyjes and the 2014 Italian film I nostri ragazzi by Ivano De Matteo. The film stars Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall, Chloë Sevigny, Charlie Plummer, Miles J. Harvey and Adepero Oduye.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Oren Moverman|
|Screenplay by||Oren Moverman|
|Based on||The Dinner|
by Herman Koch
|Music by||Elijah Brueggemann|
|Edited by||Alex Hall|
|Distributed by||The Orchard (United States)|
Vertigo Releasing (United Kingdom)
|Box office||$1.3 million (domestic)|
On a snowy evening in Dobbs Ferry, history teacher Paul Lohman and his wife Claire along with Paul's brother Stan, a Congressman, and his wife Katelyn meet up for an organized dinner at an luxury restaurant that Stan has booked for the four of them.
Stan is accompanied by his personal aides: under pressure that he is the front runner in a race for Governor, as well as helming an important bill through the House on the subject of mental health. It transpires during the course of the film - organised under chapter headings following the stages of the meal - that the four are there to discuss an incident in which their children Michael and Rick verbally and physically harassed a homeless woman trying to sleep at an ATM kiosk leading to her death when Michael threw a lit match that set her sleeping bag on fire, killing her. A third boy, Beau, the adopted son of Stan and Barbara, Stan's ex-wife, left the scene before this occurred, but witnessed that this was an unprovoked attack.
Over the course of the dinner, tensions run amok among the group intercut with flashbacks that view the dysfunctional family's past, and Stan's attempts to help Paul in his depression. The arguments grow more tense as they clash on whether the boys should take the blame or to simply cover up their wrongdoing.
Paul's mental health, which has already become unstable after his wife's cancer diagnosis, finds it deteriorating further when he finds out that Michael uploaded a video of the woman's death online. Michael even refuses to delete the video, causing a schism between him and his father. Paul also is shocked to find that Claire is colluding with Michael in a scheme to pay out thousands of dollars in hush money. After Stan and his wife offer to look after Michael while Claire is in the hospital, Paul becomes angry and accidentally hits him over the head with a saucepan.
At the dinner, Stan makes it clear he wants to withdraw from the gubernatorial race and hold a press conference about the ATM incident, afterwards accompanying his son to the police. A bitter argument ensues between Stan on one side and Claire and Katelyn on the other, with Paul sitting quietly away from the table. Katelyn manages to persuade Stan to hold off on his plan.
Paul, broken and unstable, leaves the restaurant for Stan's house looking for Beau, believing that the solution to the problem is to kill Beau, and a violent confrontation ends with Paul threatening to hit Beau over the head with a rock.
However, Paul is confronted by an enraged Stan, frantically looking for Beau, alongside Katelyn and Claire. While Katelyn tries to phone Beau, a call comes in to Stan's aide that the votes needed for the mental health bill are secure. The film ends on an abrupt note as Paul collapses and croaks out "Mental health for everyone!" as the others move beside him in the snow.
- Richard Gere as Stan Lohman, Katelyn's husband and Barbara's ex-husband, Paul's politician brother and Rick and Beau's adoptive father.
- Steve Coogan as Paul Lohman, Claire's husband, Michael's father, Stan's brother and an ex-teacher of history in high school.
- Laura Linney as Claire Lohman, Paul's wife and Michael's mother.
- Rebecca Hall as Katelyn Lohman, Stan's wife and Rick's and Beau's stepmother.
- Chloë Sevigny as Barbara Lohman, Stan's ex-wife and Rick's mother and Beau's adoptive mother.
- Charlie Plummer as Michael Lohman, Rick and Beau's cousin and the only son of Claire and Paul.
- Adepero Oduye as Nina, who works for Stan.
- Michael Chernus as Dylan Heinz.
- Taylor Rae Almonte as Kamryn Velez.
- Joel Bissonnette as Antonio.
- Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick as Rick Lohman, Beau's brother and Stan and Barbara's son.
- Miles J. Harvey as Beau Lohman, Rick's adopted brother and Stan and Barbara's adopted son.
- Laura Hajek as Anna, Michael's girlfriend.
On September 19, 2013, it was announced that Cate Blanchett would make her directorial debut with a film adaptation of the Dutch thriller novel The Dinner, by Herman Koch, scripted by Oren Moverman. Caldecot Chubb produced under his ChubbCo Film banner, and Lawrence Inglee, Eddie Vaisman and Julia Lebedev produced the film for Code Red, ChubbCo and Blackbird. Code Red fully financed the film and Protagonist Pictures handles international sales. Olga Segura and Eva Maria Daniels executive produced, and helped with the development of the project.
In May 2016, The Orchard acquired distribution rights to the film. The film had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on February 10, 2017, and went on to screen at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 24, 2017. The film was theatrically released on May 5, 2017.
The Dinner holds a 45% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 130 reviews, with an average rating of 5.4/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "The Dinner's strong ensemble isn't enough to overcome a screenplay that merely skims the surface of its source material's wit and insight." On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 58 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Owen Gleiberman of Variety gave the film a positive review, writing: "Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, and Rebecca Hall make a riveting quartet in Oren Moverman's adaptation of the Herman Koch novel about a dark-hearted dinner gathering." Eric Kohn of IndieWire also gave the film a positive review, writing: "The Dinner mostly works so long as it stays at the table, and the unresolvable source of anxiety in play suggests that on some level, the meal never ends." Boyd van Hoeij of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a negative review, writing: "By trying to keep the prolonged sit-down affair from becoming excessively stagey, Moverman adds too many distracting flashbacks to maintain the original's hard-hitting and well-aimed gut punch."
- The Dinner at Box Office Mojo
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- "The Dinner". Tribeca Film Festival. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- Cox, Gordon (March 2, 2017). "Tribeca Film Festival Unveils 2017 Feature Film Slate (Full List)". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- N'Duka, Amanda (February 28, 2017). "'The Dinner' Trailer: Richard Gere & Steve Coogan 'Put It All on the Table'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
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- Gleiberman, Owen (February 10, 2017). "Berlin Film Review: 'The Dinner'". Variety. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- Kohn, Eric (February 10, 2017). "'The Dinner' Review: Steve Coogan and Richard Gere Are Enraged Siblings in Oren Moverman's Intense Family Drama — Berlinale 2017". IndieWire. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- van Hoeij, Boyd (February 10, 2017). "'The Dinner': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
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