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.
Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars.
When seasoned comedian George Simmons learns of his terminal, inoperable health condition, his desire to form a genuine friendship cause him to take a relatively green performer under his wing as his opening act.
Tim, in his early 20s, is quiet, dependable, and held close by his mother, Jean, who works long hours at a Sydney canteen and then does stand-up at night, talking constantly about what might have been (if she'd stayed in England, if she'd had no children, if her younger son Mark weren't mildly disabled). She gets enough club work to keep hope alive. They've bought a moving van, and Tim meets Jill, falling for her but finding the challenges of sex, his mother's prying, and his brother's needs more than he can handle. The family - as well as Tim and Jill's relationship - is on the edge of crisis, accident, or, in Jane's case, self-destruction. Are family dynamics set in stone? Written by
Thank God somebody has made a film here that deals with something other than drug-ravaged Westie kids or face-pulling outback clowns. This is a lovely, intelligent, and thought-provoking examination of dreams big and small, and the dignity of aspirations, no matter what they might be. Brenda Blethyn and her ex husband Frankie J Holden are both wonderful in depicting the bittersweet lives of the never-quite-made-it entertainers. Their lives consist of fading theatre posters and anecdotes of past triumphs, as they now lead lives of unimaginable drudgery, she working in a canteen, and he as a security guard in a K Mart. That's the setup. Emma Booth appears, a life force of sexual energy and optimism, which fascinates their son and turns all their lives upside down. Without telling any more about the actual story, suffice it to say this is a film that works on every level. Emma Booth is a great new talent--at times beautiful and drop dead sexy, at other times as plain and unremarkable as any checkout chick--in other words, like a real girl from that background. Highly recommended.
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