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.
A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local.
Jonathan Safran Foer
Jim is a young man who, after deciding he can't make it on his own, moves back to his hometown in Indiana -- under his parents' roof. He's saved from his family's dysfunction by a local woman and her son, who sees him as a father figure. Written by
Several members of the writer's family appears in the film. His brother plays one of the Drug Enforcement Agents. His father is the neighbor in the trampoline scene. His mother appears briefly in the scene when Jim nearly hits a tree. Finally, Jim's nieces Sarah and Rachel are the writer's actual nieces. See more »
I mean, I'm a fuck-up, but you're a goddam tragedy.
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This is a great film which superbly walks the balance between bleak and hopeful, without ever becoming annoyingly angst ridden or overtly perky. Mary Kay Place, who has been such a solid supporting performer throughout her career, is Oscar worthy as the ever optimistic mom who shows layers upon layers with the simplest gesture -- a wonderful, comic performance. It would be a true tragedy, however likely it is, if the distributors do not put some muscle into a campaign in her favor. Buscemi's direction and the tightrope walk of a script is captivating throughout. Shot on mini-dv and certainly there have been better shot dv features. Film tends to get real noisy in the darks, and the titles during opening credits break to pixels. Too bad too, because it is unlikely this film will be taken as seriously as it deserves to be because the filmmakers/producers failed to take time/cost to make it right.
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