Hitting film festivals this year is the ambitious omnibus film The Turning (trailer), which, at least a portion of, was set to be Cate Blanchett’s directorial debut. But the actress’ busy schedule got in the way, including back-to-back Terrence Malick films, The Monuments Men, Woody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine (which turned out to be one of her finest performances), resulting in her having to back out of a helming position.
Thankfully it’s taken no time for her to find another project to direct, as Deadline reports she’s set to helm an adaptation of Herman Koch‘s The Dinner. Scripted by Oren Moverman (The Messenger, Rampart), the film follows a meal between two couples, which turns dark as they discuss a horrific act involving their teenage sons. While this first hint seems like something not far removed from Carnage, the description that it’s a “psychological thriller” has us thinking something very different is in store.
While it’s not clear yet if Blanchett will take a role as well, she certainly has years of experience from some of Hollywood’s most talented directors, working under David Fincher, Ridley Scott, Martin Scorsese, the aforementioned Malick and Allen, and many more. As we await more details, check out the full synopsis below and pick it up on Amazon.
It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse — the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.
Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.
Tautly written, incredibly gripping, and told by an unforgettable narrator, The Dinner promises to be the topic of countless dinner party debates. Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy.
Have you read the novel? Are you looking forward to Blanchett’s first foray into directing?