The Diner - 3 Stars
With the longest setup in film history this film’s most redeeming feature is the wonderful actors.
Two sets of wealthy parents meet for dinner to decide what to do about a crime their sons have committed.
The first 40 minutes are undoubtedly boring, the unnecessary setup doesn't give us a better understanding of any aspect of the film and could’ve easily condensed the 2hr runtime, which would’ve been a blessing. There simply isn’t enough plot to fill out the first half of the movie. Laura Linney, Rebecca Ferguson, Richard Here and Steve Coogan give excellent performances regardless. These exceptional actors prevail, despite the film’s flaws.
The cinematography is too dark, it doesn't help with tone and some light would illuminate aspects of the film I’d like to have seen. The score is beautifully haunting. After the 40 minute mark the film picks up substantially and manages to maintain pace until the conclusion.
Overall despite an exceptionally weak start, strong performances and a redeeming second act partially save the film.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Icon Films