With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.
A husband-and-wife team play detective, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, the happy duo helps others solve their existential issues, the kind that keep you up at night, wondering what it all means.
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 1980s.
Wilson Joel is a man in trouble. There's a searing pain in his gut that he can't tolerate and a dazed quietness to his struggle as he tries to maintain his equilibrium. Wilson is attempting to move on from the sudden and inexplicable suicide of his wife. His mother-in-law is there for him, but her sympathies turn quickly. He has an employer that seems to want to help him, and a workmate who wants him for herself. But nothing and no one can give Wilson solace; so, he seeks oblivion. It is not the usual alcohol or drugs. Wilson inhales fumes from gasoline cans and model airplane fuel and finds temporary salvation in the company of remote-control model enthusiasts. However, nothing that provides him relief really lasts. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
One never knows how grief will affect anyone. The loss of a loved one is something no one is prepared for. When tragedy strikes, as it's the point of this film, the surviving spouse is so desolate that he cannot deal with his loss. That is why Wilson, the grieving husband of Liza goes to the deep end trying to cope with her untimely death.
Liza's death is not spoken of until Wilson receives a telephone call from the local newspaper editor that is trying to write an obituary about her death and asks whether he wants to mention the suicide, or not. We get a clue about what happened to Liza when Wilson goes to the garage and sees her car. This is a link, perhaps, as to why he resorts to sniffing gasoline, as a way to obliterate the tragedy from his mind, as Wilson tries to comprehend what could have motivated her suicide.
"Love Liza" is a different kind of film. It will irritate some viewers, but ultimately, it will reward those that stay with the story. The screen play written by Gordy Hoffman could have used some editing, but his story feels real. Todd Luiso directed with conviction.
The film's main character, Wilson, is brilliantly played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, one actor who is always a pleasure to watch for the intensity he brings to his appearances. In fact, his Wilson is one of the best roles he has played. Kathy Bates, on the other hand, as the mother of the dead Liza, is only seen briefly, but her scenes convey the impression how this woman is suffering as she seeks answers about her daughter's untimely departure. Sarah Koskoff, Stephen Tobolowsky and Jack Kehler, especially, make good contributions to the film.
This film is a must for Phillip Seymour Hoffman's fans.
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