"The Dinner", starring Richard Gere, Steve Coogan, Laura Linney and Rebecca Hall, is a dark psychological thriller about a fierce showdown between two couples during the course of an ornately prepared meal at a fancy restaurant. When Stan Lohman (Gere), a popular congressman, invites his troubled younger brother Paul (Coogan) and his wife Claire (Linney) to join him and his wife Katelyn (Hall) for dinner at a fashionable restaurant, the stage is set for a tense night. Stan and Paul's teenage sons are friends, and the two of them have committed a crime that has shocked the country. While their sons' identities have not yet been discovered, their parents must now decide what action to take. A riveting story filled with many shocking twists and turns, 'The Dinner' is a chilling parable about the savage reality hidden beneath the surface of middle class lives.
People who cannot hear well need help to join the audience.
this looks like an interesting film but I won't be able to watch it.
shame on the producers and distributors who couldn't be bothered
7 out of 10 members found this review helpful.
This film could have been so much more.....
- The Dinner review by Gilly
Firstly I must agree with the previous reviewer, no subtitles. This is such a no no in the age of the DDA and really spoiled mine and my husbands viewing as we're both partially deaf and wear aids. We both had to turn it right up and our aids up too and we still missed loads.
The film itself was really well acted, every character was brilliantly portrayed so I can't fault the cast at all, however despite the storyline actually being a very good idea for a movie and being wonderful material the film just felt like a disorganised, distracting mess. There was too much skipping here there and everywhere, there wasn't nearly enough focus on the actual consensus of the storyline and it just felt messy and confusing. The end was amazingly dissapointing and I turned it off feeling like I'd wasted 2 hours of my life. This could have been a fantastic movie, but I'm not surprised to read that even the author hated it.
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful.
YAWN - COULDN'T WATCH UNTIL THE END
- The Dinner review by HW
YAWN - COULDN'T WATCH UNTIL THE END, WAFFLING ON ABOUT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, SHAME AS GOOD CAST WHICH WAS THE ONLY REASON I SELECTED IT BUT WOULD NOT RECOMMEND
What...no subtitles? As if this wasn't bad enough, you then have the characters mumbling into their soup, or main course, or whatever. This doesn't do what it says on the can; there are too many distracting flashbacks, populated by even more unbearable types, making "The Dinner" an interminable bore, rather than the feisty character study it could, and should have been.
As I liked the cast members I was looking forward to seeing this film, however I have never been as disappointed in a film for a long time. It had no appeal and had no real ending that made sense. A complete waste of time.
Not being deaf, I didn't even notice that this DVD doesn't have subtitles, and I wasn't prevented by that technical flaw from fully appreciating the movie. Unfortunately I had a different problem with it. It's a completely unenjoyable movie. Though there are good things in it, the most notable and surprising being Steve Coogan's performance as a character who isn't funny in the slightest. He has of course done straight acting before in "Philomena", but this film confirms that even if he never cracks another joke in his life, he won't be short of work as a character actor specialising in men on the edge of a nervous breakdown, or as he is in this film, well over the edge. I never thought I'd see Steve Coogan act Richard Gere off the screen, but he wins the contest hands down.
Unfortunately his character, though more complex and interesting than anybody else in the film, isn't very likeable, except in comparison with the appalling people who surround him. Absolutely nobody comes out of it looking good, because the oddly structured narrative barely allows us to see any of them behaving normally or being pleasant to anyone, and when it does, we're already so accustomed to seeing them snapping at each other that we don't care. And why on earth is the story centred around the main characters having dinner in a ludicrously pretentious restaurant? Judging by some of his recent television work, it's starting to look as though Steve Coogan's contract stipulates that he must be served with obscenely expensive gourmet food on screen, no matter how little it has to do with the plot. In the context of this film, it's completely unbelievable that anyone, especially a man running for the US senate, would have the kind of conversation these people do, often very loudly, in a restaurant!
These aren't the only problems. The central underlying theme of mental illness is handled in a very dubious way, and Coogan's otherwise realistic portrayal of a man driven too far by a combination of a hereditary tendency to develop mental health issues and domestic problems that would put almost unendurable pressure on anyone is undermined by the nasty implication that people with any kind of mental illness, even a relatively minor one not requiring hospitalisation, are potentially capable of extreme violence. The question on the poster, "How far would you go to protect your children?", which sounds like a tag-line from the "Taken" franchise, turns out to refer to something altogether different, and so horrible that our sympathies aren't with the children at all. And that special chemistry Gere and Coogan need to come across convincingly as brothers simply isn't there. These aren't two closely related men who, though now estranged, grew up together. These are two blokes who have just met for the first time and wish they hadn't.
As for that ending, which seems to come out of nowhere and then doesn't quite know what to do with itself, without giving away any plot spoilers, I suspect it was rewritten at the last minute, thus rendering most of what has led up to it strangely pointless. As I said, the acting's good, especially that of Steve Coogan, but the characters are nasty, selfish people who don't even seem to like their closest relatives much, apart from their teenage sons, who turn out to be the least likeable characters of all. So why should we care what happens to any of them? I certainly didn't. Technically it's a good film, but I can't imagine anyone actually enjoying it. Though it did leave me looking forward to Steve Coogan's future rôles in movies which, though serious, aren't quite as miserable as this one.
The worst film we have seen for ages - so disappointing! We chose it because of the very good cast, but agree with all the previous reviews - poor diction and very poor story. We didn,t finish it, it was completely bewildering! A waste of time!
I was most disappointed by and therefore do not recommend at all the pretentious, A Dinner. What waste of talent and money, particularly the former granted the participation of both Steve Coogan and Richard Gere.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
A meal out I could have done without
- The Dinner review by HE
A very disappointing film about a fascinating moral dilemma about being a parent, a citizen, a spouse etc. I was aghast that the characters chose such a public setting to discuss the really grave issues that both families faced. I could not engage with any of them, so had no sympathy at all. The politician could only be a politician, not a Dad, etc. Surely all these fine actors can find better material than this?