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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.
Penny's love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry. He is a gentle, philosophical guy, and she works on the checkout at a supermarket. Their daughter Rachel cleans in a home for elderly people, and their son Rory is unemployed and aggressive. The joy has gone out of Phil's and Penny's life, but when an unexpected tragedy occurs, they are brought together to rediscover their love. All or Nothing is set on a London working-class housing estate over a long weekend, and also tells the stories of a range of Phil and Penny's neighbors, some of whom become involved in the family's lives, and all of whom experience an emotional journey. Written by
"All or Nothing" certainly isn't a movie for the masses and I'm sure that many people will never see it or even think about seeing it and that is a shame. It's true that it is a rather depressing movie, at first sight, when you don't look closer and don't get involved in the story. When you take the time to dig deeper, you'll not only see the misery, but also a beautiful thing called love.
In this movie we mostly follow Phil, a gentle guy who works as a taxi-driver and who lives together with his wife and two children in some social housing complex in London. His daughter works in a retirement home, his son hasn't got a job and his wife works on the checkout at a supermarket. They have the biggest problems to make both ends meet every month, but that's not Phil's biggest concern. He doesn't care much for life anymore, because his wife no longer loves him. But than something terrible happens to the family, bringing them all together again, as close or perhaps even closer as they have ever been...
This movie is very realistic, hard and dark, but in the same time it is also very heart-warming. This certainly isn't a sugar sweet love story like we get too often from the big Hollywood studio's. This is what real life is like for many people. It has a social engagement (showing that even in biggest misery, people still care for each other and help each other), that probably will never be found in a Hollywood production.
I guess it will be understand and loved more by people who like realistic movies in general and socially engaged movies in particular. I might even say that it will be loved more by the people who are used to watch other European movies (Scandinavian, Spanish, French,... movies often have a deeper meaning included). Personally I liked what I saw and that's why I give this movie a 7.5/10.
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