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The Dinner

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Starring Steve Coogan and Richard Gere

This interesting film shows how a tragic incident can split both opinion and family. Everything in the present situation has a below-the-surface past that is constantly causing pain. The Dinner of the title is actually a meeting, about a secret that is being held together by two couples and their children. Throughout the evening, the truth and sources of the secret breaks down, and is stripped away to an essence that is common to all families. The inhumanity contained in the situation is contrasted by an up market restaurant, once again sailing the seven seas, chasing booty, and drinking rum. Nothing’s changed. Except perhaps the improved CGI as it’s 13 years since the first one. The film begins with a very nostalgic prologue. The new young male lead Henry (played by Brenton Thwaites) has managed to locate his father, a returnwhere the food is presented and narrated like it’s the last supper before the end of the world. Actually this scenario is necessary to break the ice from the stark deliberation the two couples

face, and this pretentious dining absurdity creates a fake importance around the life-and-death heaviness that the past foundations of the family cannot support. In essence, the film gives everyone a chance to ponder it all, both the characters and the audience. Paul (Steve Coogan) is dreading attending a dinner with his congressman brother Stan (Richard Gere), along with Paul’s wife Claire (Laura Linney) and Stan’s wife Katelyn (Rebecca Hall). There is an incident that is between the two families, having to do with an incident on a party night between their kids that ends in a tragic circumstance. As the dinner commences, each course is another stage of finding out about the relationships of the brothers, the couples and their families. Paul is particularly having problems with the evening, with his wife Claire acting as negotiator between the siblings. Bit by bit, the truth of the circumstance is revealed, which has repercussions for their careers and lives, which are unraveling during a meal costing over a thousand dollars.

The performances are excellent with British comic actor Steve Coogan given the biggest challenge of all the characters, and delivering a brilliant performance. “The Dinner” has a lot of topics to cover over one meal, but each course is digested with a familiar aftertaste.

Rated M 7 out of 10