Herman Koch) on which the award-winning Italian film, THE DINNER, was based. My spouse had, however, and he pronounced it a very fine film, as good as, though somewhat different from, that novel. The movie's tag line -- How far would you go to protect your children? -- should quickly bring to mind another Italian movie that hit US screens early this year: Human Capital. Both are, in their way, scathing critiques of Italian life today, though "Dinner" has the edge on "Capital" in some interesting ways.
Valentina Ferlan), Ivano de Matteo (shown at left), seems less interested in singling out for shame and reprisal the Italian upper classes and bourgeoisie than he is in offering up the human condition in all its complexity: love, anger, hypocrisy and occasionally even some self-examination.
The film begins with an act of road rage involving two drivers and one of their children and ends with a rather different sort of rage on a road. In between we meet those involved in that initial incident, as well as an extended family of two generations who find themselves also involved, from very different angles, in the results of that road rage. Before long, the family is also enmeshed in another, even darker and more unsettling incident that proves a much stranger example of, well, road rage again.
Barbora Bobulova (below) and Giovanna Mezzogiorno (above). You will find your sympathies moving back and forth, but slowly, as character further reveals itself, goosed ever onward by the situation conceived by Koch in his novel and brought to fine life by the filmmaker.