The squid and the whale review new york times

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the squid and the whale review new york times

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The Squid and the Whale. Noah Baumbach 77min. Review Our Score. It's beautifully played by the principals, with Jesse Eisenberg particularly good as the clever but callow teenager beginning the painful process of realising that his father Jeff Daniels is not as perfect as he once thought. But at the heart of the film is Daniels's astonishing performance as Bernard, the subtly monstrous paterfamilias whose intellectual arrogance he refers to Kafka as "one of my predecessors" and casual meanness are tempered by a kind of wounded bewilderment, both at his own professional decline and at his abandonment by his wife the excellent Laura Linney. Baumbach's film was apparently inspired by his own family's break-up in the s. Perhaps that's why the agonising details are so acutely observed and offer an occasional, mildly uncomfortable feeling of partisanship.

EARLY in "The Squid and the Whale," Noah Baumbach's semiautobiographical film about divorce among the literati, the teenage Walt Berkman is seen sitting alone in a high-school classroom when a potential girlfriend strikes up a conversation: "You live in Park Slope, right? The answer is complicated -- his parents live apart and have joint custody -- and anyway, the exchange is over just seconds later, grinding to a halt when Walt dismisses the F.
a goofy movie eye to eye

E xquisitely painful, root-canal-jabbingly uncomfortable, this black comedy from writer-director Noah Baumbach based on his parents' breakup is bittersweet without the sweet. It lets you know in a big way what people mean when they say divorce is "traumatic". The unhappy tale is set in Brooklyn, New York City, in , a pre-mobile-phone, pre-internet era of typewriters and being unable to contact your teenage kids when they are not home. Baumbach has perhaps remembered this time via Woody Allen movies and Philip Roth novels from the same period and before. Or perhaps, scarily, he has just taken it directly from real life. Jeff Daniels plays Bernard Berkman: an insufferably pompous, bearded novelist and creative writing professor, whose books are not selling any more. His wife Joan Laura Linney is on the verge of leaving him and has chosen this moment to become a successful novelist herself, with a piece of work about to be published in the New Yorker magazine, a distinction that has always eluded Bernard.

The Squid and the Whale is heading for British screens early next year after being hailed in America as the next Kramer vs Kramer, the New York classic about the fallout from urban middle-class family breakdown. The setting has moved from the Manhattan of the Seventies to the Brooklyn of the Eighties, but could just as easily be Islington in the Nineties or even now. It should make painful viewing for baby-boomers with rocky marriages. Starring Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney, the drama charts the collapsed marriage of two well-off bohemian writers as they embark on a war of words with each other and a poisonous tug-of-love over their adolescent sons. Its war-of-the-sexes metaphor is the battle between giant squid and sperm whales which, thousands of feet below the ocean surface, is one of nature's most ferocious. Whales have been found with massive scars, evidence that squid don't become lunch without a fight.



The Squid and the Whale

The Squid and the Whale is a American independent arthouse comedy-drama film written and directed by Noah Baumbach and produced by Wes Anderson. It tells the semi-autobiographical story of two boys in Brooklyn dealing with their parents' divorce in The film is named after the giant squid and sperm whale diorama housed at the American Museum of Natural History , which is seen in the film.

What the whale and the squid say about us

Jonathan Baumbach, who upended traditional ideas of narration, linear progression and more in his novels and short stories and helped found a collective that gave experimental writers the ability to publish their own works, died on March 28 at his home in Great Barrington, Mass. He was Baumbach had already published two of his 12 novels when he and Peter Spielberg created the Fiction Collective, a publishing house run by authors, in an effort to give avant-garde works a clearer path to publication. Such works, Mr. Baumbach thought, might not have found a home with conventional publishers interested in profits.

Roger Greenberg a former musician who works as a carpenter and whose vocation is writing eloquent letters of complaint about apparently minor inconveniences is both heavily scarred and heavily armed. Played by Ben Stiller as a wiry, gray-haired ball of raw nerves and well-oiled defense mechanisms, Roger returns to Los Angeles after 15 years in New York and a short stay in a mental hospital after a breakdown. He roosts in the large hillside house of his brother Chris Messina , who has gone with his wife and children to Vietnam for a long vacation. Whether he succeeds is an open question. Roger, at 40, seems uncomfortably stuck in his own receding youth, but Florence, who hangs out in art galleries with her friends and sometimes sings at a half-empty hipster bar, really is It is the funniest and saddest movie Mr.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Max F. says:

    Ben Stiller as a Slacker in Noah Baumbachs Work - The New York Times

  2. Harvey Q. says:

    The Squid and the Whale | Culture | The Guardian

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