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Life During Wartime (2009)

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

Director:

Todd Solondz

Writer:

Todd Solondz
3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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The lives of several individuals intertwine as they go about their lives in their own unique ways, engaging in acts society as a whole might find disturbing in a desperate search for human connection.

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Ira is a nervous playwright waiting and hoping to succeed with his art, which he takes it very seriously. But following his dreams and ambitions isn't something easy to do, specially when ... See full summary »

Director: Todd Solondz
Stars: Todd Solondz, Max Cantor, Alexandra Gersten
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shirley Henderson ... Joy
Michael Kenneth Williams ... Allen
Roslyn Ruff ... Waitress
Allison Janney ... Trish
Michael Lerner ... Harvey
Dylan Riley Snyder ... Timmy
Ciarán Hinds ... Bill
Renée Taylor ... Mona
Rebecca Chiles Rebecca Chiles ... Hostess
Paul Reubens ... Andy
Emma Hinz ... Chloe
Charlotte Rampling ... Jacqueline
Ally Sheedy ... Helen
Gaby Hoffmann ... Wanda
Rich Pecci ... Mark
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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

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 2010 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Forgiveness See more »

Filming Locations:

Puerto Rico See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,507, 25 July 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$278,821, 19 September 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Werc Werk Works See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A sequel to Todd Solondz's movie Happiness (1998), but with entirely re-cast characters. See more »

Quotes

Mark Wiener: Sure. Forgive and forget. But it's like freedom and democracy. In the end, China will take over, and none of this will matter.
See more »

Connections

References I'm Not There. (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Strange Happenings: The Holiday Calamities of Avremele Melamed
Written by Maurice Goodman
Performed by Cantor Simon Spiro
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Solondz disappoints again
13 January 2011 | by Ramalama_FFFSee 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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