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Life During Wartime (2009)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  16 April 2010 (Italy)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 4,738 users   Metascore: 69/100
Reviews: 36 user | 155 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

Friends, family, and lovers struggle to find love, forgiveness, and meaning in a war-torn world riddled with comedy and pathos.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joy
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Allen (as Michael Kenneth Williams)
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Waitress
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Rebecca Chiles ...
Hostess
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Jacqueline
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Wanda
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Storyline

Separated from her incarcerated husband Bill (Hinds), Trish (Janney) is about to be married again. Bill is a pedophile, so Trish couldn't be more excited to have Harvey (Lerner), a "normal" father figure for her two sons. But when Bill is released from prison and the boys finally meet their future stepdad, the family is forced to decide whether to forgive or to forget. Trish's sister, the virginal, angelic Joy (Henderson), is also haunted by ghosts of lovers past. On leave from her degenerate husband, Allen (Williams), and her job at a New Jersey correctional facility, Joy unwittingly leaves behind a trail of shame and exposed secrets wherever she goes. In one of the film's most stylized sequences, the image of Joy walking the dark streets of Miami in her nightgown maintains her innocence against a backdrop of self-affliction and desire. Written by Production

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, brief nudity, and language including some disturbing dialogue | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

16 April 2010 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Forgiveness  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$30,507 (USA) (23 July 2010)

Gross:

$278,821 (USA) (17 September 2010)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Title taken from the title of a song by Talking Heads. See more »

Quotes

Trish: Are you saying you would forgive the 9/11 terrorists?
Timmy: Well, no, not those terrorists because they're dead.
See more »

Connections

References Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Life During Wartime
Music by Marc Shaiman
Lyrics by Todd Solondz
Performed by Devendra Banhart
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User Reviews

 
Solondz disappoints again
13 January 2011 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

As a big fan of foremost Happiness and Storytelling, I'm very disillusioned about the fact that Todd Solondz may never make great films like those again. This was a disappointment, but not exactly a shock after the gloom of Palindromes.

I'm not sure if this is really supposed to be a sequel to Happiness in the normal sense, but yes, a lot of the characters from that one are back. Sadly Solondz has turned Joy from a half dysfunctional "loser" to a freak, and every scene with her is pretty unbearable. The dad from the first film has also changed a lot, but that makes sense seeing how he's been in prison for years when the film starts.

Palindromes sort of drowned in gloom and repulsion. LDW isn't quite the same but it's still bleak, and often creepy. At times it borders to psychological thriller.

I have to respect Solondz for making a philosophical effort, but if there was a specific point with the story, I didn't quite get it. There's the subject of fear and hysteria in the U.S all over, but other than that, I didn't get that much out of it. All in all it was like a (expectedly) weirdish film with a lot of darkness and absurdity. Happiness and Storytelling were dark but also very funny and balanced with a sort of pleasantness that I just can't see here. It's like a long nightmare.

Before Palindromes Solondz was to me possibly the greatest living director. I REALLY hope he either gets back to his old form or tries out something new that works better.


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