Thursday, July 5, 2007

Movie: "The Squid and the Whale" (4/5 stars) 2005

Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Owen Kline, Jesse Eisenberg, Anna Paquin and William Baldwin star in "The Squid and the Whale" , a quirky story about a dysfunctional family and their love interests in the throws of an unfriendly divorce.

Hyper realistic with solid performances and fantastic dialog all the way around , we see Bernard Berkman (Jeff Daniels' character) as a washed up writer teaching at a local college who becomes jealous when his wife Joan (Laura Linney) sells a novel while he struggles.

While well meaning, these parents are so far from capable of insulating their kids from the divorce that the two children (Owen Kline and Jesse Eisenberg) are completely unable to cope. They act out in the most inappropriate, but still understandable ways.

I have to say, Bernard Berkman (Bernard is the perfect name, as it's repeated often and is almost a character of its own) is one of the superbly written characters in cinema history, as the pseudo-intellectual who is just not that smart. He so wants to be, but just can't reach the top shelf and judges everyone but himself. His son Walt (played by Jesse Eisenberg) is following in his footsteps, but barely even managing to mimic his father.

A real sleeper of a movie that I enjoyed tremendously.

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