In the late 70's, in Boston, the bipolar Cameron "Cam" Stuart lives with his mulatto wife Maggie and their daughters Amelia and Faith in an isolated house in the countryside. When Cam is fired from his job, he has a mental breakdown and Maggie is forced to institutionalize him. When he is released, he moves to a small apartment while Maggie works to support the children. She decides to apply to an MBA to improve her income and she is accepted by the Columbia University in New York. She asks Cam to take care of the girls for eighteen months and he agrees despite his fears. Maggie moves to New York and Cam is responsible for Amelia and Faith education. Will the scheme work? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Based on Director Maya Forbes' life. Her daughter plays her in the film. After the credits roll, there is a picture of her real-life parents, upon whom the movie is based. See more »
On a book shelf there are various board games in the background, including "Trivial Pursuit." The movie is set in 1978, Trivial Pursuit was not released on the market until 1982. See more »
My father was diagnosed manic depressive in 1967. He'd been going around Cambridge in a fake beard calling himself Jesus John Harvard. When he got better, he started working in public television in Boston. He met my mother there. He walked up and took her picture. On their first date, he took her on a driving tour of New England and told her all about his nervous breakdowns. She didn't care. She said it was a crazy time. Half the people they knew were going bananas. So ...
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Great examination of bipolar disease, and how mental illness effects family!
'INFINITELY POLAR BEAR': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
A comedy-drama flick, about a bipolar dad, struggling to raise his two young daughters; while his wife tries to support their family, in business school. The film was written and directed by Maya Forbes; and it's based on her own life experiences (as a young girl, with a bipolar father). The movie stars Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky and Ashley Aufderheide. It's an interesting, and well made film study; on mental illness, and how it effects loved ones.
The story takes place in late 1970s Boston. Cameron Stuart (Ruffalo) is married to Maggie; and they have two young daughters together, Amelia (Wolodarsky) and Faith (Aufderheide). When Cameron has a bipolar breakdown, he's fired from his job and put in a mental hospital. Maggie moves their daughters into a cheap apartment, in a poor part of town. When Cameron is released from the hospital, Maggie asks him to take care of their kids; while she goes to business school, in New York full time. Cameron agrees, and then struggles to maintain his sanity; while also trying to be a good father.
The film is a great examination of bipolar disease; and how mental illness effects family. Ruffalo is exceptional in the lead, and the two young girls are outstanding (as well); especially Wolodarsky, playing Forbes (as a young girl). Forbes' script is clever, and very thoughtful. Her direction is decent, but not anything too memorable. Still, it's a pretty impressive directorial debut.
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