When a family of raccoons discover worms living underneath the sod in Jeff and Nealy's backyard, this pest problem begins a darkly comic and wild chain reaction of domestic tension, infidelity and murder.
In King County, Washington, Dr. Jeff Lang has been married for ten years with Nealy Lang and they have a little boy. Their best friends are Rebecca Mazzoni, who studied with Jeff in the medical school, and her husband Peter Mazzoni. Jeff decides to sod his backyard, but the grass comes with worms underneath and raccoons destroy his sod during the night. Jeff wants also build another room in the house for his planned second son, but the City Hall blocks the project. Jeff decides to build the room without the approval and he gives a beautiful plant for his next door neighbor, the unstable Lila (Laura Linney) that lives with her cat Matthew, expecting that she does not denounce his construction work to the authorities. Jeff also likes to play basketball with his friend Lincoln, who has kidney problem and needs hemodialysis. However, the raccoons disturb Jeff and Nealy has not had sex with him for six months. Jeff decides to poison the raccoon and he meets Rebecca to drink and relief his ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The plot synopsis as written on the DVD box refers to raccoons as "meddlesome rodents". Raccoons are not rodents and in fact are more closely related to bears. See more »
You know in life when somethings disastrous happens, you go back and replay everything. You see where it went wrong, trying to figure it out. To think through all the little things. You're sifting through all of the details.
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The Details goes places where most films these days dare not venture. It's a black comedy but it does not bother to play sight gags of the grotesque. It's a black comedy but it is not afraid to become suddenly dramatic. It strikes me as a generally fearless movie, not afraid to deal with the darkness and ridiculousness of male sexuality (Tobey Maguire plays the part of the likable loser-internet porn lover-sexual deviant exceptionally well), not afraid to allow its characters to express a kind of cartoonish intensity which borders on surreal at times, nor is it afraid to allow its characters to reveal deep human insecurities. The filmmaker seems to be interested in constantly showing you different sides of his characters and his story, as if it was a cubist/surrealist dream/nightmare--his characters have multiple faces, his storyline can be viewed as hilarious or dark and unnerving and sometimes even, sweet. Whereas many films released these days are formally obsessed with fitting into a genre, this movie seems unconcerned in adhering to formal movie tropes-- it is at once a hilarious comedy about a man obsessed with ridding his yard of raccoons, about marriage and silly things-- then -- deftly-- the audience finds itself sliding into an absurd realm of murder and darkness and uncomfortable laughter. The truth is, most movies are one simple thing, easily digested and marketed and discarded--but this is not that. Watching this movie you just know, it was invented with a spirit of anarchy and joy and yet, despite this apparent lack of concern for normal rules of the screen, the story- telling itself still manages to keep us consistently tense and pushed toward an inevitable, at first funny, ultimately shocking conclusion. Playing the part of a cat-crazed, manic- depressive, Susy-home-maker sexually obsessed neighbor, Laura Linney turns in a performance that should make even the most cynical movie-goer prick up his or her ears. Also, Elizabeth Banks stands out in this film, especially in the end, when, after her husband, played by Maguire, finally reveals the truth he has been hiding from her all along (all the horrible things he did in secret over the course of the twists and turns of this movie's wild plot). Her reaction to learning the truth from her husband is at once hilarious and gripping and would probably never be forgotten by anyone who sees it. At the end of the movie, the audience is asked to be complicit in the characters sins (which I won't tell you any more about so as not to spoil things). The characters just "go on" in the aftermath of the mess they've created. That said, one could argue that the end of the film is bleak, and that that is unsatisfying. But I would argue that it is just another part of the filmmaker's willingness to throw caution to the wind: It's as if--after an hour and a half of laughing-- he's saying "yeah, it's funny, but..." Since the sins explored in the details are common sins that get wildly out of control--sins any of us might relate to--the movie plays like an allegory for our shared, collective lack of morality and while it is funny... it is also serious. Some movies are perfect-- they perfectly capture you in a web of sentimentality or comedy or darkness-- this is not that. This is not a still life.
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