Friday, March 31, 2006

The Squid & The Whale

Last night Colin, Brian and I went to a free showing of the Noah Baumbach film The Squid & The Whale. It was a sponsored event by Viacom of which I can only remember their jingle at the end of Roseanne, the 80's America sitcom. After a brief spell of faux hob-nobbing, we took our bottles of Stella and found some seats and grabbed at trays of which passing waiters were offering tasty treats inbetween inane banter until the film started.

It may be worth noting that Baumbach also wrote The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, which also has idiosyncratic and characters and unhinged dialogue although as he is also directing this film it seems to gel a lot better in terms of fluidity and character development. It is also hilariously funny and I can't recall a cinema audience laughing out loud and continually throughout a movie in either so many years I've forgotten or it has actually never happened. The secret that Baumbach has found is not so much in the dialogue but how his characters deliver it and how he captures the momment. There is some excellent use of the handheld camera which adds a realism and also surrealism to certain scence which heightens their impact and draws the audience in.

It is also worth noting that the film is based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother which has allowed him to add a secret and meaningful depth to the boys characters and draw from a wealth of childhood memories adding a super-realism into each character whilst portraying the touching story of how these boys deal with their parents divorce. At times very forward and frank and at times intimate but always ludicrously entertaining, The Squid & The Whale is a comedy drama gem of a movie and worth picking up.

I would give this film 4 firm handshakes out 5.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Skry said...

OK so I don't get this. Squid was one of the first films (possibly the first) that I've seen you document and not criticise once. You said that it made everyone laugh so hard that you couldn't remember ever hearing a film make that sort of impact on an audience before. You mention the realism and detail that helps the film along, as well as the quality of acting and delivery of a first-class plot.

And then you give it 4 out of 5...

What was wrong with it such that you dropped 20% off it's score? Are you saving the big 5 for a perfect movie? If so you'll never rate anything as a 5 and we may as well take the ratings system as being out of 4.

I was really up for seeing that film by the end of your review, but now I'm wondering if there is something about it that I might dislike. Is there a 20% fuck-up rate or are you being overly critical? If it's the movie you seem to think it is then I can't understand why you didn't give it a high 5.

Don't leave it hanging bro :P

11:29 pm  
Blogger Jay Tea said...

A truly great film is something I would want to watch again and again and again. Something like The Big Lebowski or Loaded Weapon 1. They would therefore get 5.
As much as this film was truly great, I couldn't see myself watching it over and over and over again.
It's like you mentioned about a film on Wednesday that on first viewing it's fantastic but it will loose oomph on re-watching. So I guess this is one of those films.
Hope that satisifies!!

11:54 pm  
Blogger Skry said...

Certainly does :D

At least I know that you are going to give 5's out. And to Loaded Weapon 1 no less - a classic!

11:57 pm  

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