The dinner

The dinner

DVD - 2015 | Italian
Average Rating:
5
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Based on the New York Times best selling novel of the same name, this 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.
Publisher: [New York, NY] : Film Movement, [2015]
Characteristics: video file,DVD video
digital,optical
1 videodisc (92 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.

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k
kdrabek
Nov 05, 2017

When I saw that Alessandro Gassman was in this movie, I had low expectations. He's made movies that were of a lower level than American Pie. But his performance in The Dinner
is excellent and I think his transformation from apparently image-conscious and often glib to quietly horrified and morally paralyzed is very effective. Giving a Dutch-novel an Italian twist introduces the very Latin reality of the fiercely protective mother, though this one at least gives her son space. Since this movie was made an American version with Steve Coogan and Richard Gera was released. It's somewhat strange that these two couples have been having these dinners regularly for years despite one couple not enjoying the evenings. Benny, the character of the daughter, is not much of an actress but she is somewhat frightening and the Slovak actress who plays her stepmother, who is not credible as an Italian, is portrayed as inconsequential eye candy. This leaves the creepy teenage son and the two fathers who are all convincing. I think the best part of the movie is that, early on, it manages to convince the viewer to imagine themselves in the position of these parents. This situation is one most of us can't imagine and brings up big questions about whether we should do more as parents, how much we might be responsible for our children's morality, whether unconditional love has a place in every situation and whether we can or should look past a reprehensible crime to see the child we want to see again. The ending was jarring but in this way the director didn't choose a resolution for us.

m
mcduffkc
Sep 21, 2017

Great movie and what a powerful ending.

j
jimg2000
Sep 10, 2017

Liked the morality message but the ambiguous ending was marginally acceptable. A better watch of the same premise is the Romanian 2013 film Child's Pose. Not sure where the beach scene location was with those gigantic dolosse or tetrapods but surely weird setting.

d
Donnaff4
Aug 13, 2017

Didn't know it was English subtitles, not our thing

v
voisjoe1_0
Feb 17, 2016

Two brothers have periodic dinners with their wives at a fancy restaurant where they seem to talk about the great food and restaurant environment, but one can sense a semi-vicious sibling rivalry and jealousy, etc. While they seem to be talking about banalities, they will soon become embroiled in a situation brought about by drugs, alcohol, youthful indiscretion, criminal behavior, violence, and death. While this film is based upon a famous Dutch novel (63 comments on this library website), this is the first comment on this very good Italian film based upon that novel).

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