The Vuillard family is no stranger to physical/mental illness, loss, and banishment. But when the matriarch becomes in need of a transplant, the whole family is forced to come together, emotional baggage and all, just in time for Christmas.
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.
Parallel storylines tell the current state of affairs for two ex-lovers: Nora's a single mother who comes to care for her terminally ill father; holed in up in mental ward, Ismael, a brilliant musician, plots his escape.
The Vuillard family gathers: Junon and Abel, a daughter Elizabeth and her son Paul, Henri and a girlfriend, Ivan, his wife Sylvia and their young sons, and cousin Simon. Six years before, Elizabeth paid Henri's debts and demanded he never see her again or visit their parents' home. Paul, at 16, has mental problems and faces a clinical exam. Junon learns she needs a bone marrow transplant if she's to live beyond a few months: thus the détente bringing all together. Two family members have compatible marrow, but the spats, fights, cruel words, drunken toasts, and somewhat civilized bad behavior threaten all; plus Junon may simply refuse treatment. Do we know ourselves? Written by
The Fields Medal, noted as having been won by Elizabeth's husband, is a medal given to a mathematician under 40 who has made a major contribution to the study of Mathematics. Fields Medals are awarded every four years to up to four mathematicians. See more »
When Henri and Faunia sneak out of the house, the camera operator is clearly visible in the door window. See more »
Started thinking about 20 minutes in, "when is it all going to come together with some semblance of cohesion and interest?" To me it never did, and was an overlong borefest throughout, with very short takes leading to other very short takes that never got my interest for any.
Never saw any family act the harsh way toward each other that this one did, or talk to each other so carelessly without more mayhem being caused by it than this one did, or showed less love and care for each family member than this one did, even with the mother dying!
Why was this kind of labored film supposed to be the right one to show at Christmas? Maybe Labor Day instead? I sure labored through it unwillingly, and it was sooooo long. And, I love French films! See Cache, For the Love of Others or Amelie instead for great French films, and not this piece of pretty junk.
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