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The Dinner
by Karen Pecota

Renown Dutch writer and actor, Herman Koch has his novel The Dinner now available for viewing on the U.S. silver screen. Filmmaker Oren Moverman based his latest screenplay and film The Dinner on Koch's novel. Moverman brings to light Koch's dark psychological thriller that attempts to address today's culture of insanity and inhumanity. Koch correlates it to the horrific atrocities of the United States' Civil War, the bloodiest battle on American soil killing 50,000 soldiers.

Koch's international best seller has been translated into twenty-one languages since 2009. Moverman's deduction of Koch's literary phenomenon is that his premise looks for answers to questions lodged deep within the human soul. Koch's riveting and descriptive modern-day story is filled with controversy and intrigue. Moverman directs his screenplay with no less shocking twists and turns. The two remarkable artists connect to describe a chilling morality tale. Truth be told their storyline might be closer to reality than given credence.


Stan (Richard Gere) and Paul (Steve Coogan) Lohman are estranged siblings. The brothers come to dine together in exquisite style, along with their wives, Katelyn (Rebecca Hall - Stan's second wife) and Claire (Laura Linney - Paul's wife), to discuss a family tragedy.

The very posh public restaurant annoys Paul because he feels out of place. He would rather have the needed conversation over pizza and a beer. Older brother Stan, on the other hand wants a peaceful atmosphere for their dialogue that no-doubt could be intense and highly emotional. Stan hopes the environment will be a safe place for all four adults to discuss thoughts and share insights with maturity and respect.

Paul, a history teacher on disability after a nervous breakdown, seethes resentment for Stan since childhood. Stan, a beloved congressman running for governor looked after his little brother his whole life due to Paul's mental illness, a debilitating disease that plagued Paul's very existence. Never to have enjoyed sibling camaraderie, it’s imperative the two must now come together, if only for this moment in time.

The two couples each have 16-year-old sons. The cousins, together, committed a horrific crime shocking the country, not to mention their parents. The boys captured their act on video and posted it on the Internet. Their verbal conversation and the enjoyment of the sinister escapade were recorded, but it was difficult to pin-point the identity of the boys. And, it may never be discovered.

Stan, Katelyn, Paul and Claire have to decide what action will be taken with the boys as their guardians. Through the course of The Dinner each parent shows his/her “true colors” regarding commitment to family, relationships and morality. How far will each parent go to protect those they love? The ultimate question is to be answered over the course of The Dinner.