The Dinner is a perfect example of how ‘on paper’ means nothing
On paper, The Dinner should be an absolute Oscar favourite. Gere, Hall, Linney, and Coogan act as huge leading names, known for quality performances, with a dialogue heavy script and tense moral undertones. Yet, in reality, The Dinner is no more than just a confusing mess with some truly oddball sections and scenes.
Paul Lohman (Steve Coogan) and his wife Claire (Laura Linney) are preparing for a dinner neither of them wants to attend. Set to meet with Paul’s senator brother Stan (Richard Gere) and his wife Katelyn (Rebecca Hall), there is rumoured to be unsettling news that will turn and change each of their lives forever.
The Dinner just does not make sense. There’s far too much creative license used within the actual drama, leading to not just a confusing plotline, but also confusing reasoning behind particular moments inclusion within the final edit.
The four leads are really the only highlight as they hold together the film’s tenuous sections, in a production that really should have been easier to get right than wrong. They are there to lead the way, and all Moverman’s direction does, is to take away focus upon them.
The Dinner is an incoherent drama, overly themed and underpowered. It lacks the punch of a successful production and it doesn’t deal with its issues and themes in the correct manner. The Dinner is a perfect example of how ‘on paper’ means nothing.