BETWEEN the appetizer and the digestif, there is a lot to chew on in “The Dinner.”
At first glance, it appears to be a film about a riff between two brothers that will probably be mended over a meal at a fancy restaurant. Directed and written by Oren Moverman and based on the book of the same name by Herman Koch, the film has its North American premiere tonight at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.
Like a pot of water with a fire under it, “The Dinner” reaches a rolling boil. Cleverly and dramatically told in part through flashbacks, the film reveals a little more with each course. Ostensibly, it is about sibling rivalry between Stan and Paul Lohman (Richard Gere and Steve Coogan). Stan is a high school teacher on sabbatical, while Paul is a career politician who is running for governor. However, much more is afoot.
Encompassing various genres — comedy, drama, dramedy, thriller and black comedy —“The Dinner” is about mental illness. About misconceptions. A major theme is about parents love for their children — especially that of the mothers (Laura Linney and Rebecca Hall)and the various ways they will fiercely protect them from harm.
LL gives the most riveting performance in a strong cast as a mom willing to protect her young by any means necessary. SC is close behind as a man who is both brilliant and tortured, therefore dangerous.
There is much to digest and imbibe in “The Dinner” and it is delicious, down to the last morsel and drop.
Steve Coogan and Laura Linney in “The Dinner.”
Other films/events on today's 2017 Tribeca Film Festival schedule: "I AM EVIDENCE,""Abundant Acreage Available," Tribeca Immersive, "Aardvark," "Frank Serpico," "For Ahkeem," "Keep the Change," "Bobbi Jene," "Love After Love," "Mr Long," "November," "The Boy Downstairs," "Newton," "One Percent More Humid," "Saturday Church," "Hounds of Love," "Flower," "Shorts: Last Exit," "A Suitable Girl," "The Trip to Spain," "the Last Poker Game," "Tilt," Blame"
Visit http://www.tribecafilm.com/festival to learn more about it and the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, including tickets and schedule.