Dinner Rush
dir Bob Giraldi scr Brian Kalata, Rick Shaughnessy
with Danny Aiello, Edoardo Ballerini, Kirk Acevedo, Mike McGlone, Vivian Wu, John Corbett, Polly Draper, Summer Phoenix, Ajay Naidu, Jamie Harris, Sandra Bernhard, Mark Margolis
release US 2.Nov.00; UK 29.Mar.02
00/US 1h46 4 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
Acevedo and Ballerini create some fireworks in the kitchen...
revenge is a dish best served cold No surprise that music video veteran Giraldi's film debut is a visual masterpiece. But it's also a perfectly formed little drama with well-defined characters, superior acting and a terrific twist in the tale. It's a busy night at Gigino's, a trendy Italian eatery in New York where owner Louie (Aiello) is trying to make some big decisions regarding his primadonna chef son (Ballerini), a cook with a gambling problem (Acevedo), a vicious young thug (McGlone) and the daughter (Draper) of his recently murdered partner. Meanwhile colourful customers (Corbett, Bernhard, Margolis, et al) enjoy the culinary delights, unaware of the serious drama gurgling downstairs. Or are they as innocent as they seem?

The film is so beautifully assembled that it draws us in instantly and keeps us thoroughly engaged with the characters. Natural rhythms of humour, jealousy, ambition and grief flow through the story, set off by Giraldi's impeccable editing, clever and lush camerawork, a lovely score and an expert use of lighting and sound. The large ensemble cast is terrific, and the multi-strand plot is woven coherently together, cleverly building tension while examining the conflict between old and new--both the cuisine and the mob. And the food looks fantastic.

[15--adult themes and situations, language] 7.Nov.00 sliff
awards Audience Choice--St Louis 00

send your review to Shadows... revenge is a dish best served cold ~~~~~~~ ~~ ~~~ ~~~~

"I recently saw Dinner Rush in Chicago. The photography was fresh and interesting: the angles and the speed captured the essence of the 'diner' and of a time past, still fully connected to its present." --BrvHeart45, net.

2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall