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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 (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member 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 served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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