7.4/10
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248 user 124 critic

The Squid and the Whale (2005)

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Follows two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

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An estranged family gathers together in New York for an event celebrating the artistic work of their father.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Frank Berkman
... Bernard Berkman
... Joan Berkman
... Walt Berkman
... Ivan
David Benger ... Carl
... Lili
Molly Barton ... Graduate Student
Bo Berkman ... Graduate Student
Matthew Kaplan ... Graduate Student
Simon Kaplan ... Graduate Student
Matthew Kirsch ... Graduate Student
Daniella Markowicz ... Graduate Student
... Graduate Student
Ben Schrank ... Graduate Student
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Storyline

In 1986, In Brooklyn, New York, the dysfunctional family of pseudo intellectuals composed by the university professor Bernard and the prominent writer Joan split. Bernard is a selfish, cheap and jealous decadent writer that rationalizes every attitude in his family and life and does not accept "philistines" - people that do not read books or watch movies, while the unfaithful Joan is growing as a writer and has no problems with "philistines". Their sons, the teenager Walt and the boy Frank, feel the separation and take side: Walt stays with Bernard, and Frank with Joan, and both are affected with abnormal behaviors. Frank drinks booze and smears with sperm the books in the library and a locker in the dress room of his school. The messed-up and insecure Walt uses Roger Water's song "Hey You" in a festival as if it was of his own, and breaks up with his girlfriend Sophie. Meanwhile Joan has an affair with Frank's tennis teacher Ivan and Bernard with his student Lili. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Joint Custody Blows.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic dialogue and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Historias de familia  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$279,938, 14 October 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,362,100, 19 March 2006
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the movie is heavily autobiographical, director and writer Noah Baumbach said he never pretended to have written "Hey You" by Pink Floyd for a school contest. In reality, a friend of his did it with a The Who song, and Baumbach borrowed the story because it felt so much like something that could've come from his childhood. See more »

Goofs

When the Berkmans are speaking to Walt's teacher about his plagiarism of the song "Hey You" by Pink Floyd during his performance during the talent show, there is a poster behind the teacher promoting reading featuring the WWE wrestler Hurricane (Shane Helms) who made his WWE debut in 2001. He was only 12 in 1986. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Frank Berkman: Mom and me versus you and Dad.
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Crazy Credits

The end credits include this dedication: "For Mannie". See more »

Connections

References The Mother and the Whore (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Life Depends on Love
Written and Performed by Bert Jansch
Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Differing Opinion
3 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

Judging by most of the reviews on these pages and elsewhere, one might think this movie was a minor masterpiece, some deep insightful exploration of the American family. It is not. It is a pointless, meandering depiction of self-destructive and fairly uninteresting people. There's hardly a plot to speak of, and the acting, while OK, is nothing spectacular. The characters portrayed in this film are the kind of people you probably would not want to spend five minutes with were they real people, so why pay money to spend an hour and a half with them in a movie theater? (That, by the way, is the review. But IMDb seems to think that one cannot say something worth publishing in less than 10 lines.)


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