.

The Squid and the Whale

Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Owen Kline, Halley Feiffer

Directed by Noah Baumbach
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3.5
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
October 6, 2005

Divorce and its effect on children is a topic movies have worked to death. Writer- director Noah Baumbach (Kicking and Screaming, Mr. Jealousy) discovers it fresh and with fierce insight and feeling in a movie where even the laughs cut to the bone. Baumbach sets the film in Brooklyn's Park Slope, where he lived in the 1980s during and after the breakup of his own parents, former film critic Georgia Brown and novelist Jonathan Baumbach. In the film, Jeff Daniels plays Bernard, the academic dad in career crisis, with the vividly scrappy Laura Linney as Joan, the wife whose writing is just beginning to be recognized. Jesse Eisenberg, so good in Roger Dodger, amazes again as sixteen-year-old Walt, Baumbach's surrogate. And Owen Kline — son of actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates — is a marvel as Frank, a twelve-year-old for whom jerking off has become a vocation. The boys react in different ways to their overachieving parents, especially when Mom screws the tennis pro (William Baldwin), and Dad's student (Anna Paquin) moves in with him. At school, Walt passes off Pink Floyd's "Hey You" as his own, and Frank finds ever-more-intriguing places to dispose of his jism. All the performances are flawless, but Daniels' portrait of a man trying helplessly to break out of the cocoon of his own self-regard is a finely tuned tour de force and his shining hour onscreen. Without jerking tears or reducing the acid content of his wit, Baumbach's humane movie gets under your skin.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Whoomp! (There It Is)”

    Tag Team | 1993

    Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com