Margot and her son Claude decide to visit her sister Pauline after she announces that she is getting married to less-than-impressive Malcolm. In short order, the storm the sisters create leaves behind a a mess of thrashed relationships and exposed family secrets.
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.
A slice of family life: sisters, husbands, children, history, secrets, jealousies. Margot and her teen son, Claude, travel from Manhattan to her family's Long Island home, occupied by sister Pauline, Pauline's daughter, and Malcolm, the slacker Pauline will marry outdoors that week under a tree neighbors want removed. Backbiting marks family discussion, particularly between the sisters and in Margot's cutting remarks to Claude. Pauline tells Margot a secret that Margot promptly tells Claude. Margot dislikes Malcolm and undermines him. She also has marital problems and a lover nearby. People are cruel, inside and outside their families. Is there a refuge for Margot or for Pauline? Written by
Nicole Kidman's hair color repeatedly switches back and forth between dark brown and lighter reddish-brown. See more »
I was dating that guy Horace back then. Do you remember him?
Was that the guy who liked to rough you up?
No, that was our dad.
Our dad used to strip down to his skivvies and beat us with a belt.
That man had a sexual screw loose.
That's awful, that stuff that happens to kids. Malcolm was fondled by a male babysitter.
Just use that information however you want.
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One of the darkest, most complex films I've seen in a while
I just saw Margot at the Wedding at the Telluride Film Festival. My first reaction was that I liked it, but not as much as The Squid and the Whale. My friends and I started talking about it afterwards though and we ended up staying up nearly all night talking about it. It has some funny moments but it is DEFINITELY not a true comedy. It is one of darkest films I've seen in a while. It seems like a simple story but the more you think about it, the more you realize is there. There is definitely a Bergmaninfluence here, especially from Persona, which Noah Baumbach confirmed when I talked to him at the festival. Nicole Kidman's and Jennifer Jason Leigh's characters are sisters, but there came a point where they almost seemed to be extensions of the exact same character. The characters inhabit a very bizarre world filled with clues about doubles, pedophilia, possibly incest, and more. Baumbach didn't necessarily agree with everything I and some other students said about some of the film's meanings, but he did acknowledge that he was glad we were making our own interpretations and that any interpretation was legit. Overall the more I think about this movie and discuss it with my friends, the more I admire it for its darkness and depth. The script is really sharp with many subtle references and the performances are all very impressive. Just keep an open mind and discuss it afterwards to really get to the bottom of some of the film's rich complexities. See it!
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