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.
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.
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 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
What could the film THE SQUID AND THE WHALE be about? Is it an animated tale of two amphibians? An adventure? Certainly boasting an odd name, this movie is about a Brooklyn family in 1986, which is split through divorce. Their two sons are left in the middle, going back and forth in the joint custody agreed upon. Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney play the parents, both writers, and they paint their characters skillfully, with genuine performances. He claims to have once been a great novelist, and she is now a successful author on her own. The sons work out their own confusion in their dealings with girls they like. The two actors playing the sons are also very convincing. One of them is Kevin Kline's real life son, Owen. If you have been in a family that has experienced divorce, this will touch a nerve. A very accessible character study, exploring the complexities and inner workings of a broken family. We are privileged to see behind closed doors and see an authentic portrait. Full of humor and poignant moments, rated R.
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