Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Squid and the Whale.

The Squid and the Whale. Well, it's been a few days and I have another movie from my movie swap buddy. Swap 1, we each gave a movie starring an Audrey. Swap two, was heavy movies. No, we don't discuss beforehand. I gave her One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Which is a terrific movie, especially if you've read the book(luckily she has). I was given Squid, so here we go.

I remember seeing posters for this when it came to the Kendall theater. I wanted to see it, but it never seemed the right time. You kind of have to be in a certain mood to see a movie that will probably make you upset. The good news is that I've never experienced a divorce first or second hand so I have some buffer from the emotions.

We open on the final stages of a broken marriage. Parents fighting, lying to each other. Making the children take sides on issues, blaming each other for problems. The children each seem to be closer to one parent, the younger(Frank) seeming to be more mature and more interested in keeping everyone happy. A healthy dislike is developed for most of the characters, with William Baldwin(of all people) ending up as probably the most likable character.

Jeff Daniels is terrific as the overbearing, intellectual snob father far past his prime. Can you believe he was one of the stars of Dumb and Dumber? Laura Linney also excels as the mother who means well but just doesn't seem to understand how to handle relationships. Anna Paquin effectively portrays the minx creating friction between Father and older son.

As I said, I'm pretty far removed from family stresses of this kind, so I can look at it objectively. I enjoyed the film, and it was written, casted and acted very well. If you don't mind some disturbance, and some pretty heavy stuff check it out.


Anonymous said...

Nice review, sweetie. I agree that it is a different experience if you've been through a divorce 1st or 2nd hand. It was recommended to me by someone who also went through a family divorce. It can spark some great conversations. AND I can't believe Jeff Daniels has never won an Oscar?!? I love him.

Yoni said...

I don't like Jeff Daniels that much, but I liked him in this. I thought it was a great film. I didn't go through a divorce but some of the relationship dynamics are universal and transcend broken marriages. For instance, most kids have a favorite parent or at least a different relationship with each parent; even when the parents live together till death do 'em apart.