Noah Baumbach's film, The Squid and the Whale, is one of those movies that will never be shown at the mall. Is it because very little happens or is it because so much happens in a very little way?
I actually didn’t love the movie while I was watching it. I saw certain character tricks the filmmaker used to show which alliances the children were making. And since this is basically a memoir movie, I accept that most likely, this is how things went down. Each son takes on the personality traits of whichever parent they are allied to...interesting.
But this sort of threw me while watching the movie. I imagine during a divorce, kids go through a bigger muddle than something as neat as taking sides and imitative postures. Of course, I could be completely wrong.
The literary tone could have been, I thought, even more literary. References are made to only the most famous writers...Dickens, Fitzgerald, etc.
But after the movie was over, it stuck with me for a couple days. I mean, the journey is so small yet the depiction is so rich. And you don’t get to see that very often in films these days. The acting is perfect across the board. Every actor is pretty much perfectly pitched and believable. It is rare to see this. And for this very reason alone, it is a film worth finding. Get thee to The Squid and the Whale at an art plex near you.
Official Squid and Whale Site