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(aka "I Nostri Ragazzi" or "Our Kids")

 

directed by Ivano De Matteo
Italy 2014

 

Paolo (Luigi Lo Cascio, GOOD MORNING, NIGHT) is a doctor who works with children, his wife Clara (Giovanna Mezzogiorno, VINCERE) is a museum docent, and his son Michele (Jacopo Olmo Antinori, ME AND YOU) is an acne-scarred high school misfit who watches JACKASS and fail videos on his phone when he should be studying. Paolo's brother Massimo (Alessandro Gassman, THE BANKERS OF GOD: THE CALVI AFFAIR) is a high-powered defense attorney living in an ultra-modern apartment with his younger second wife Sofia (Barbora Bobulova, THE SPECTATOR), newborn son, and teenager daughter Benedetta (GAME OF THRONES' Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) from his previous marriage. When a young off-duty cop is an active participant in a road rage incident that leaves a man dead and his son mortally wounded, Paolo gets to express righteous outrage when he discovers that Massimo is defending the cop. When a homeless woman is brutally beaten on a night when Michele and Benedetta have stayed out late for a party, and the security camera footage is aired on a national true crime show by the police seeking information about the perpetrators (a young man and a young woman), Paolo is in denial when both Massimo and Clara voice their suspicions about their own children. As the evidence builds up against them and perceived parental failings become evident in the children's lack of regard for what they have done and taking for granted that their parents will shield them from the consequences of their actions, ethics and family loyalty is swept aside, and one side of the family may be hung out to dry.

Based on the novel by Dutch writer Herman Koch, THE DINNER (known in Italy as I Nostri Ragazzi, or Our Kids) bears a passing resemblance to HUMAN CAPITAL (and perhaps in some ways CARNAGE) in the growing conflict between two couples in different socioeconomic strata (at least, idealistically) over a criminal act involving both of their children. While the hypocrisy inevitably comes out in the characters with which the audience is first meant to relate, the film surprises viewers with the character arcs of the jaded attorney and trophy wife. The cynical portrayal of the film's youthful characters is sadly quite plausible, as is the attempts of parents to place ascribe outside influences rather than admit that they really do not know their own children. Although it seems quite likely that the production was crafted with the intention of being next year's Academy Award foreign film submission, THE DINNER is nevertheless well-executed and beautifully-acted (particularly by Mezzogiorno and Gassman).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 5 September 2014 (Italy)

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DVD Review: Film Movement - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Film Movement

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:34:15
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.85 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Italian Dolby Digital 5.1; Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Film Movement

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
� Behind the Scenes (16:9; 13:29)
� Production Montage (16:9; 5:02)
� Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:45)
� Previews

DVD Release Date: November 24th, 2015
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Film Movement's progressive, anamorphic presentation of this 35mm-lensed feature looks a tad flat and softish due to the film's emphasis on low light and shallow focus. Grain becomes more pronounced in dark shots, although this appears to be a stylistic choice equating the darkened rooms of the characters' apartments with the back alley in which the victim was discovered. The Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 tracks are reasonably immersive for a talk-heavy film with more atmosphere than directional effects in the surround channels. The optional English subtitles are without errors (English closed captioning is also included).

The extras include a behind the scenes featurette and a rather insubstantial production montage piece as well as the film's trailer.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Film Movement

Region 1 - NTSC

 

 


 



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