A violent video could cause the implosion of two families in The Dinner, an Italian take on the bestseller by Herman Koch.

Paolo (Luigi Lo Cascio) is a paediatrician. His wife, Clara (Giovanna Mezzogiorno), is a guide and they have a 16-year-old son, Michele. Paolo’s brother, Massimo (Alessandro Gassman), has a teenage daughter, Benny. On the surface, these brothers and their families have it all. But sources of tension can be spotted from the start. After an (entirely invented) prologue, De Matteo can throw in Koch’s narrative bomb: a video of a homeless woman being kicked to death by two youngsters who look like Benny and Michele.

The film isn’t necessarily interested in whether the kids are guilty or not. What matters is how everyone deals with the accusations. The entire ensemble tears into this screenplay with relish, and the way in which the film keeps suggesting new grey areas is remarkable.

Boyd van Hoeij
The Hollywood Reporter

With the support of the Italian Cultural Institute


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