×

PopPolitics: Oren Moverman on Why ‘The Dinner’ Is ‘Very Trumpian’ (Listen)

Oren Moverman says that his new movie “The Dinner” is “very Trumpian” — and points to the premise of his project as proof.

Steve Coogan stars as a school teacher who suffers from mental illness, and Richard Gere plays his brother, a rising politician. They and their wives meet for dinner one night at a high-end restaurant, and as their stories unfold, they begin to grapple with their crisis. Their sons have been involved in a brutal attack on a homeless woman.

“They have their privilege and they have their lives, and they don’t really see other people as human,” Moverman tells Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM. “I think something in this era — people talk about post-truth, but it is also post-humanist in that way. The humanism that is at the core of society keeping it together, moving toward better and better solutions for people in their lives… are kind of out the window. There’s a lot of self preservation, a lot of self interest dictating policy and I think that is at the core of some of these characters’ behavior.”

“Trumpian,” Moverman says, is just a term for what has been happening in society in recent years. As he wrote the script, based on a Dutch novel, he saw reports of a Texas teenager responsible for a drunken driving crash that killed four people. His defense came to be referred to as a case of “affluenza.”

Moverman also sees the movie as a way to bring up the issue of mental health treatment. Gere’s character is sponsoring a piece of legislation to bolster coverage for mental health. “We have a certain stigma that has been put around mental health, where a lot of people are really trying to bring that conversation into the open,” Moverman says.

Listen here.

Laura Poitras on WikiLeaks and Trump

For her new documentary “Risk,” Laura Poitras followed Julian Assange for five years through the rise of WikiLeaks, his escape from extradition at the Ecuadoran embassy in London, and, most recently, his involvement in the release of hacked emails during the 2016 election. Poitras gives a much more nuanced view of Assange and WikiLeaks, and whether it was used as a tool of the Russians during the campaign. But she says that she is alarmed that the site is a target of the U.S. government — and that other journalists should share her concern.

Listen here.

“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety’s Ted Johnson, airs from 2-3 p.m. ET/11-noon PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also is available on demand.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven

    Department of Justice Backs Led Zeppelin in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Case

    The U.S. Department of Justice has weighed in on the next big music copyright case on the horizon following the Katy Perry “Dark Horse” decision, and taken Led Zeppelin’s side in the long-running copyright dispute that pits the writers of the group’s anthem “Stairway to Heaven” against the publishers of the earlier song “Taurus” by [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Prosecutors Make Last-Minute Move to Bolster Case

    The Manhattan D.A.’s office is making a last-minute bid to strengthen its case against Harvey Weinstein, who is set to be tried next month on charges of rape and sexual assault. Prosecutors notified the court on Tuesday that they will seek a new indictment. The D.A.’s office wants jurors to hear from Annabella Sciorra, the [...]

  • Jeffrey Epstein

    Jeffrey Epstein's Autopsy Rules That He Died by Suicide

    Jeffrey Epstein’s death earlier this month has been ruled a suicide by hanging. The New York Times reported on Friday that the city’s medical examiner has officially made the ruling six days after Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. According to the Times, which cites a [...]

  • America Ferrera Eva Longoria

    America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and More Sign Letter to Latinx Community: 'We Will Not Be Broken'

    America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and more have signed a letter published in several media outlets on Friday standing in solidarity with the Latinx community. In response to the heightened tension surrounding President Trump’s immigration agenda, the El Paso shooting that targeted Latinx people and the ICE raids in Mississippi, the letter addresses the language used [...]

  • Research Firm Screen Engine/ASI Acquires TicktBox

    Screen Engine/ASI Acquires TicktBox, an Entertainment Marketing and Ticketing Startup

    Screen Engine/ASI, a market research firm that specializes in focus-group testing of movies and TV pilots, has acquired ticktBox, which operates a digital marketing and ticketing platform used by movie distributors, exhibitors, and TV networks. Terms of the deal, which closed Aug. 9, weren’t disclosed. With ticktBox, SE/ASI will have one of the largest databases of [...]

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST

    Eric Reid, Jemele Hill – and Colin Kaepernick? - Take Jay-Z to Task Over NFL Partnership

    When news of the presumably lucrative entertainment and social-justice deal between Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and the NFL leaked on Tuesday, initially there was a surprising lack of public reaction or outcry. But after a press conference where Jay and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell officially announced the deal at Roc Nation’s New York offices yesterday — [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content