This is my personal counter-list to YouTube reviewer Chris Stuckmann's selections from his book The Film Buff's Bucket List. I…
The Squid and the Whale
Joint custody blows.
Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980's.
I absolutely loved this movie and I think that's mainly due to the performances of: Jeff Daniels, Jesse Eisenberg, Laura Linney, and Owen Kilne. Along with the acting, Noah Baumbach's writing is superb.
Dad is a pretentious jerk. Mom is having serial affairs. Little brother is cursing like a sailor, masturbating at every opportunity and smearing his semen on library books. Older brother is plagiarizing Pink Floyd lyrics and passing them off as his own. But hey, it's Brooklyn in the 1980s. The solution, of course, is for the parents to divorce and arrange for joint custody of the kids. Or is it?
This highly autobiographical family drama from Noah Baumbach is a testament to the director's talent and ability to bring the best out in his actors, even on an indie budget. The dialog and situations seem starkly real. There's tension. There are shocks. And there is resolution, but only of the…
Noah Baumbach's breakthrough feature is a smartly written, aptly directed & brilliantly performed indie that cleverly combines the elements of drama & comedy into one gripping story, is filled with authentic, fully-drawn characters, and offers an honest take on divorce & how it affects everyone who is part of the family.
Set in Brooklyn during the 1980s, The Squid and the Whale tells the story of two boys whose lives are turned upside down when they learn that their parents are separating and are going to share a joint custody. Having trouble in adjusting to the suddenly changed situation in the house, the two kids respond in their own ways to cope with the trauma.
Written & directed by Noah Baumbach, the film sets…
Review In A Nutshell:
Marriage is difficult, we all know that, but we now live in a world where it seems divorce is the only, or at least the easiest, option. I am so fortunate to say that my parents are still together, but there had been a couple of moments where it was just about to fall apart and forever change my life. Now with those near misses, I cannot help but feel paranoid with every argument they have, hoping that it would not escalate to the point of destruction. I know that it sounds selfish of me, but it is human nature for one to maintain a sense of comfort, free from change and stress. I always try…
The Squid and the Whale, Noah Baumbach’s best picture to date, scares me, because I see too much of myself reflected in the broken personality of Jeff Daniels, who represents self-righteous writer and father of two Bernard Berkman, admired by only one person: his oldest son. The picture does everything it possibly can to make the viewer hate Bernard, the prick, the ego-centrist, the failure, the tyrant, the envious man that he is. But damn do I sympathise with the fellow, even when we have not yet met the bad sides of mother Joan Berkman; once this aspect is showcased, the contrast between the moral high and low ground embodied by the two characters at first is severely dimmed. Not…
Noah Baumbach is obviously a very talented guy. Writer, director and indie darling, his films are certainly thought-provoking with the usual indie credentials of quirky characters and an off-kilter look at relationships. This film is no different and although with the exception of Greenberg I've enjoyed all of his movies, I can fully understand how these aren't quite for everyone.
My wife hated this. I could feel the stare that said "what the fuck is this shit". She's not keen on these indie films and asked if this was a mumblecore film (I think she read it in a magazine). A semi-autobiographical take on his own parents divorce and his struggle to cope emotionally, this is sometimes darkly funny and…
Box office $ 11 million
Not being a child from a product of divorce, after seeing this movie I can appreciate the push and pull that manifests from divorce. Now, I am positive that not all broken homes are this broken, but Noah Baumbauch creates an environment that makes you squirm and want to cry all at the same time. All of the performances are near perfection and are executed with utmost conviction. I find that Jeff Daniels is one of those actors who get better with every movie he does. He is completely unlikeable in this movie yet you feel for him and you want him to get it together. Very few actors can play a prick and yet…
this was a laugh riot
Honest and unforgettable. The well-crafted characters absorb attention through and through as they illustrate the sometimes funny and often uncomfortable realities that sprout from the subject matter that is divorce. Ultimately, Baumbach truly succeeded in taking the viewer's breath away with that final scene, which can only be a strong portrayal of maturity and acceptance.
This movie is basically a play about a family slowly tearing apart after a divorce. It sounds like it would be depressing but it's surprisingly hilarious and very surreal. It never becomes melodramatic like a Nicolas Sparks movie but instead feels so authentic and captivating from every actor. It really reminded me of all Alexander Payne movies where every character feels like an actual person and I eventually forgot I was actually watching a movie. I got swept away and understood what a family like this is like even though I couldn't relate on the divorced level.
Hmmmm, did absolutely nothing for me.
The characters were interesting but their stories sorta went nowhere, just the total definition of "meh"
I always forget this is like 80 minutes long, but tells just as much story as any bullshit-padded 110-minute Sundancer these days. The swift editing pays off in shots like Daniels taking money at dinner from Eisenberg's teenage girlfriend, or the younger brother wiping semen on the library books. We're there and we're gone, and Baumbach has no desire to linger. New York moves fast, childhood goes by quickly, and there's no fucking parking in Brooklyn so we have to drive around the block.
The older I get, the worse Daniels's character comes off -- it's clear Linney is the better writer and parent, despite all the time we spend with Daniels. But this is Eisenberg's story, so we see…
Jeff Daniels is just incredible here. Even though the know-it-all, hyper-intellectual dialogue feels over the top, he totally sells it. You KNOW guys like him; you've met them, pretentious, detached and condescending. He's the worst. But what makes him even more ugly is how he raises (or, manipulates) his children, how he breeds and brainwashes them to be as clinical and elitist as he is -- because then he has control and SEES his affect on the world.
The problem is that, to children, abstractions are even more abstract. They end up embracing principles they don't fully understand, let alone their reprecussions. It becomes a sort of script or stock vocabulary, a kind of muscle-memory. And this is the content…
3rd viewing, finally realised it's a masterpiece
[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
Great 60-90 min films (for those days when you just don't have the energy to watch a 3 hour masterpiece)
Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of hight quality "short" films. Easy…