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.
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.
The Chumscrubber starts out with Troy, a normal teenager who supplies "feel good" pills to everyone in his high school (this way he spreads happiness all around). But when his friend Dean pays him a visit, Dean discovers Troy has hanged himself in his bedroom during one of his mother's pool parties. After the death, three local teens: Billy, Lee, and Crystal, want what's left of Troy's stash of pills and they know that Dean is the only one who knows where they are. But when Dean refuses to get the pills, the three teens kidnap Dean's little brother, until they realize they've kidnapped the wrong kid. Written by
I just saw this at Sundance, and I sincerely hope this film ends up with distributor and a good marketing campaign, because it is worthy of a wider audience. What was particularly interesting was listening to the director's comments after the film. He pointed out that his biggest challenge in working with this extremely talented ensemble cast was making sure everyone was on the same page in terms of mood. "It's not exactly a drama and it's not exactly a comedy," he said. "We didn't want them playing for laughs, although there are some comedic moments, obviously." Now, usually when movies can't figure out their tone, it's a kiss of death. But this film succeeded because of, not despite, it's delving into the gray area between drama and comedy. The result was a movie about teens that didn't play like a "teen movie," at all. It doesn't exploit and it doesn't play down to any sort of perceived teen audience. Part of that was due to the excellent cast. Jamie Bell was sensational. The adults were equally solid, particularly Glenn Close. I'm interested in seeing how this film is marketed. Some comments I've seen have been critical of the title, but it makes perfect sense once you know the story. All in all, this is one of those movies that obviously started with a great story full of dramatic tension and social satire and built from there. All too rare these days.
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