The Dinner

Director: Oren Moverman
Year Released: 2017
Rating: 1.0

Politician Stan Lohman (Richard Gere), along with younger spouse Katelyn (Rebecca Hall), invite his high school teacher brother Paul (Steve Coogan) and wife Claire (Laura Linney) to a super-fancy restaurant to discuss an important issue having to do with their sons setting fire to a homeless woman during one drunken night (affluenza! it's catchy!). I think there are some interesting ideas in here about race relations and destigmatizing mental illness ... but they're hopelessly lost in the scrambled presentation, which is too reckless with its endless flashbacks and digressions - there's even a section where Coogan and Gere go to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania that feels out of place with the rest of the picture. The cast (which includes Chloƫ Sevigny) is decent, but they can't compensate for a terrible script (based on the popular novel by Dutch writer Herman Koch). I guess the joke is that for being about an expensive and elaborate multi-course meal, no one's interested in eating - for me, real-world issues (like killer teenagers) can be temporarily set aside when face-to-face with that mouthwatering selection of cheeses.