The Squid and the Whale

The Squid and the Whale ★★★½

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 most uncomfortable kind ... the dark realization that this is it -- your life and your family. It's the journey from denial to resignation. The whale has the squid in his mouth, ready to swallow it whole, and that's not going to change.

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