Italian Film Festival

The Dinner

Info: De Matteo, Italy, 2014, 92 mins, DCP

Language: In Italian with English subtitles

Director: Ivano De Matteo

Cast: Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Alessandro Gassman, Luigi Lo Cascio


  • Sunday January 10, 2016 - 6:30 pm
  • Monday January 11, 2016 - 4:30 pm

Based on Herman Koch’s international bestseller, this film tells the story of Paolo (Luigi Lo Sascio) and Massimo (Alessandro Gassman), two brothers with little in common. Their weekly dinner dates are tense affairs, with idealistic doctor Paolo often facing off with his colder sibling, a criminal defense attorney. Their children are much closer, and it is that relationship that gives the film its true darkness. Together, cousins Michele (Jacopo Lo Cascio) and Benni (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) will have an encounter that will put their fathers’ core beliefs to the test.

The movie opens with a traffic dispute turned deadly, and when grainy surveillance video appears to capture a heinous crime committed by the kids, the brothers and their wives hold a summit at an upscale restaurant in order to debate what to do next. From here on in director Ivano De Matteo has us in the palm of his hand. He offers us a thriller, a character study and a portrait of the discontent that lurks beneath the surface of middle-class comfort. The brothers begin the movie as strong, settled characters, each confident that they’re right about the world. As everything they took for granted is lost, we’re left to wonder both what they will do and who they really are after all. This is a journey into darkness that’s as moving as it is suspenseful.

“Tough and confronting drama…an exploration of complex and painful truths about contemporary Western society.” Boyd van Hoeij, Hollywood Reporter