In the late 1970s, in Boston, the bipolar Cameron "Cam" Stuart lives with his 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 program to improve her income and she is accepted by 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's education. Will the scheme work?Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Mark Ruffalo's character tells his family when the van is about to leave that he wishes he wasn't dressed like a big green bug (green Polo Shirt and matching shorts). For years, he played the Hulk. Big and green. 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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Maya Forbes writes and directs a personal story of bittersweet childhood living in livid conditions with her sister, mother and eccentric bipolar father. A landmark first feature that has enough laughs but loads of conflicting emotions.
Zoe Saldana is a strong presence with her loving/loathing/longing and everything in between character. The ideal mother of her time and circumstances and the wife a man would fight for.
Mark Ruffalo is at the centre of it all with his charming, childlike and exuberant portrayal. He masters the manic episodes, the frailty, the fears, the hopes, the joys and the underlying deep love for his wife and kids.
The kids, one played by Maya Forbes's own daughter, are really adorable and act at a very high calibre. Creative, funny, aware and awkwardly accepting their weird family antics with a touch of rebellion.
Ultimately most of the credit is due to Maya's inventing and passionate storytelling in its form, content, message and lasting meaning. A film that is very human and difficult, but finds glimpse of beauty in little things that we should all hold dear.
An easy but complex crowd-pleaser with much meat and mastery for the critics and film aficionados.
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