Loses a full point for featuring Joe Swanberg. Gains it back for featuring Chris Doubek.
The Solondz-lite description was tossed around by nearly everyone for good reason. The film's gleeful descent into depravity at every turn, amusing as it sometimes is, occasionally shatters its plausibility and supersedes empathetic character motivation, but winning performances from Hollyman and Lemar-Goldborough nearly save even the most contrived turns of the plot.
The overly-literal, cutesy animation improves little on a blank screen (which is to say this is basically a podcast), I genuinely had a hard time understanding Gondry through his thick accent much of the time (as it seems Noam did too), and Chomsky is forced to oversimplify a lot of his explanations to the point where they lose much of what makes them so novel and fascinating. That said, it's still an opportunity to listen to likely the best English-speaking thinker alive today for nearly 90 minutes so there's enough to cherish here to make it worthwhile.
Perhaps the most underappreciated Hollywood film of the last several years. A brilliant realization of a novel on the level of Gatsby, Lolita, and Sirens of Titan with career best performances from DiCaprio, Winslet, and the remarkable Michael Shannon. I've seen it only once since it's such a hard experience to relive, but it shook me to my core and hasn't left my thoughts for long since. In short, a masterpiece.
What would happen if you gave an angsty, misanthropic 14-year-old with no storytelling experience the opportunity to utilize sixth-rate community theater performers to act out his adolescent revenge fantasies and serve as a mouthpiece for his obnoxious rantings for nearly two hours? I have to believe it would be indistinguishable from God Bless America.
Neither a dark comedy nor a satire (since both require some degree of humor), GBA is instead little more than being told things everyone already knows…