7.4/10
65,205
243 user 124 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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2,878 ( 47)

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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:
...
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...
...
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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

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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) (19 March 2006)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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|

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff Daniels was scheduled to film The Five People You Meet in Heaven (2004) when The Squid and the Whale (2005) was set to start production. The beard Jeff Daniels has in The Five People You Meet In Heaven is there only because he felt his character in The Squid and the Whale would have had a beard. See more »

Goofs

When the Berkmans are speaking to Walt's teacher about his plagiarism of the song "Hey You" by Pink Floyd during his performance during the talent show, there is a poster behind the teacher promoting reading featuring the WWE wrestler Hurricane (Shane Helms) who made his WWE debut in 2001. He was only 12 in 1986. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Frank Berkman: Mom and me versus you and Dad.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Mother and the Whore (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Come Sing Me a Happy Song to Prove We All Can Get Along the Lumpy, Bumpy, Long and Dusty Road
Written and Performed by Bert Jansch
Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
depressingly refreshing
8 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

More acutely than I've experienced in a long time, this film captures the process of personality inheritance within families. The interaction/influence between Bernard and Walt is almost painful to watch at times, but it's completely rich. Beyond just that father/son dynamic, the story is so poignant without ever getting sappy - a true accomplishment for a family drama involving divorce. Nothing hits you over the head. Nothing seems too forced. While there's plenty of confusion, discomfort, and alienation, a sense of love shines through, and I couldn't help but get attached to all of the characters. I recommend this film unconditionally.


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