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Dinner Rush Review

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At a trendy Tribeca restaurant, all walks of New York life can be found. Shady restaurant owner Louis struggles with cops and mobsters, while his chef son Udo seduces the critics to make his name.

★★★★

Movies involving Italians or the Mafia (or, indeed, both) usually feature food in a starring role, as metaphor for life, death, love, family – or all of the above. And so it is the case in Dinner Rush.

Set during one night at a hip Tribeca restaurant, it weaves together the stories of the eaterie's disparate staff and customers – from compulsive gambler Duncan to mob-connected owner, Louis – and brings them all crashing together in its explosive, and unpredictable, conclusion.

Director Giraldi's interest in food (he is also Creative Director and a founder of Starchefs.com, a cookery-dedicated web site) is evident in the film's lingering shots of artfully-constructed meals, at times verging on gastro-porn.

Giraldi's brilliance lies in his ability to balance a multitude of storylines without any of the characters seeming under-developed or plotlines confused. This, teamed with a cast on top form – notably Aiello and Jamie Harris as a cocky barman – makes Dinner Rush a wholly satisfying feast.

Giraldi's beautifully shot film is a skilfully directed examination of New York life, but best not viewed on an empty stomach.