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2017 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Oren Moverman’s The Dinner

I don’t recall the last time a novel had three book to film adaptations in such a rapid lapse of time, but the source material offered in Herman Koch’s best-seller is a full course menu of psychological warfare. Both as a filmmaker and producer (I fondly remember being there for 2009’s The Messenger) Oren Moverman is no stranger to the Sundance Film Festival. Starring Chloë Sevigny, Rebecca Hall, Laura Linney, Richard Gere and Steve Coogan, and sees Moverman reteam for his fourth outing with cinematographer Bobby Bukowski (they also collaborated on Rampart and Time Out of Mind) and a second time with production designer Kelly McGehee. Production began last January, and The Orchard folks landed the rights on The Dinner last May, which interestingly as a side note was something actress Cate Blanchett was looking to direct.

Gist: Paul and Claire Lohman (Coogan, Linney) get ready for a dinner with Paul’s politician brother Stan (Gere), and his wife Barbara (Hall). Tensions already exist between the two brothers — Stan is a smooth-talking celebrity who is the favorite to win the governor’s race, while Paul has a chip on his shoulder and is currently not working.

Production Co./Producers: ChubbCo’s Caldecot Chubb (Eve’s Bayou), Lawrence Inglee (Swiss Army Man), Julia Lebedev (Dear White People), Eddie Vaisman (In a World…).

Prediction: Premieres section.

U.S. Distributor: The Orchard

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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