7.4/10
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235 user 122 critic

The Squid and the Whale (2005)

Follows two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Ivan
David Benger ...
Carl
...
Molly Barton ...
Graduate Student
Bo Berkman ...
Graduate Student
Matthew Kaplan ...
Graduate Student
Simon Kaplan ...
Graduate Student
Matthew Kirsch ...
Graduate Student
Daniella Markowicz ...
Graduate Student
...
Graduate Student
Ben Schrank ...
Graduate Student
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Storyline

In 1986, In Brooklyn, New York, the dysfunctional family of pseudo intellectuals composed by the university professor Bernard and the prominent writer Joan split. Bernard is a selfish, cheap and jealous decadent writer that rationalizes every attitude in his family and life and does not accept "philistines" - people that do not read books or watch movies, while the unfaithful Joan is growing as a writer and has no problems with "philistines". Their sons, the teenager Walt and the boy Frank, feel the separation and take side: Walt stays with Bernard, and Frank with Joan, and both are affected with abnormal behaviors. Frank drinks booze and smears with sperm the books in the library and a locker in the dress room of his school. The messed-up and insecure Walt uses Roger Water's song "Hey You" in a festival as if it was of his own, and breaks up with his girlfriend Sophie. Meanwhile Joan has an affair with Frank's tennis teacher Ivan and Bernard with his student Lili. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Joint Custody Blows.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic dialogue and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Historias de familia  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$279,938 (USA) (14 October 2005)

Gross:

$7,362,100 (USA) (17 March 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anna Paquin, who plays a love interest to Jeff Daniels in the Squid and the Whale, played his daughter in Fly Away Home (1996). Upon the release of the Squid and the Whale, Jeff Daniels said that this previous experience made the filming a bit awkward for both of them. His comment to one interviewer about how he and Paquin got through the filming of their intimate scenes was, "we tried not to think about...you know, geese." See more »

Goofs

The ambulance that takes Bernard away is painted FDNY red. EMS was not merged into the fire department until the '90s, and prior to that ambulances were painted in the EMS colors: orange, blue and white. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Frank Berkman: Mom and me versus you and Dad.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits include this dedication: "For Mannie". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Castle: The Squab and the Quail (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Figure 8
Written by Bob Dorough (as Robert Dorough)
Performed by Blossom Dearie
Courtesy of American Broadcasting Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
So horrible.
18 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ugh. The other reviews note that this story is based on Noah Baumbach's own story of his parent's divorce. But if it's true, does that make him the plagiarizer or the potty-mouthed serial masturbator? It's hard to imagine anyone wanting to immortalize their family with these sloppily constructed, clichéd caricatures of the sort of people you might have found in Park Slope in the 80's. The parents exhibit a reprehensible lack of concern for their kids as they finally arrive at divorce. The mother character is not expanded much beyond showing that she bore her dissatisfaction with her husband by having numerous affairs times during the course of the marriage. The father character is shown as an insecure blow-hard, affected more by his wife's professional success than by her infidelities. The children are, essentially, little versions of their parents, and are emotionally victimized by each of the parents in their (supposed) struggle to cope with their divorce. They develop disturbing habits, which are ill-addressed by the parents who are too busy wallowing in their own miseries to effectively address their children's' unspoken cries for help.

This poor character development & over-abundance of unseemly airing of personal grievance make this film feel like a student film. A BAD student film.

On the up side, Park Slope was perfectly captured & portrayed, instantly recognizable. I don't know how a big a deal that is considering that it hasn't changed all that much since.

This film was a disappointment.


22 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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