Samuel Goldwyn Films, Sony Pictures International, Destination Films

Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline, Halley Feiffer, William Baldwin, Alexandra Daddario, Eli Gelb, Henry Glovinsky

Bernard Berkman (Jeff Daniels) is a troubled and cranky Brooklyn professor who’s well past his prime, and his wife Joan (Laura Linney) is an up and coming writer on the brink of stardom in Noah Baumbach’s honest look at the disintegration of a marriage. Their lives are headed in distinctly opposite directions, the two can’t help but dig and pick at each other in their impending separation. But that leaves their two children Frank and Walt(Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline) stuck in the middle of an emotional war. The boys pick sides, Frank, the older siding with his Dad, and Walt, the younger siding with his mother. But the chaos and pandemonium continue until basically everyone is broken.

This is a sad movie. It’s an older film (from 2005) but I was asked to watch it again, and give my $.02 on it, so I did. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. Jeff Daniels is certainly playing an annoying character. The whole family think they are “more intelligent” than everyone else and live in this sort of “university-like existence” where everything is based upon your degrees and the books you have written and read. Even the kids are caught up in this, even the more they act out. Frank breaks up with a girl he really likes because he thinks he can do better. Bernard is a penny pinching dude, perhaps needfully so, but always judges things by the cost. Meanwhile Joan is on top of the world after her book sells and she wants to live the life. The kids are caught in the middle and it causes them a lot of pain which messes up their existence. There is heavy drama here, and some funny moments, but this is a dark and tragic film. There is no doubt that this film is nothing more than a look at a disintegrating marriage and how it affects everyone in the family. Through the process, you’re probably not going to end up liking any of them. I enjoyed the story for what it is. This is not a great film, but it’s a good psychological film, strong on character development and very well performed. It has the feel of a play rather than a movie, but is very well done. I enjoyed it while I squirmed uncomfortably. (Note: This is seriously rated R. There are some disgusting conversations and actions in this movie that make it well worth the R rating!)

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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