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The Squid and the Whale (2005)

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Worst film of the decade, and you've all been duped. Period. End of story.

I tried, I really did. I did an end-of-the-decade-final-screening. And it infuriates me every time I try. I don't come down from this anger for days. It is awful. Horrible. Crap. See rant Here. It pretends it wants your respect for giving a moral lesson. This it never does, because its combination of events is farcical.

I hate this film more and more with each passing day.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Stef, I understand why you might find it vile, but I think you impugn those of us who liked the movie. I certainly could draw moral lessons from the film, but don't have to. For Jeff Daniels' performance alone, the film is worth seeing -- or, at the least, worthy of not being labeled "the decade's worst."

That honor goes to ... oh, I've forgotten.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Stef, I understand why you might find it vile, but I think you impugn those of us who liked the movie. I certainly could draw moral lessons from the film, but don't have to. For Jeff Daniels' performance alone, the film is worth seeing -- or, at the least, worthy of not being labeled "the decade's worst."

That honor goes to ... oh, I've forgotten.

Yeah yeah yeah something by LvT saw that one coming a mile away.

It's not so much "impugn" as it is "think that you are whacked out of your gourds."


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Hi. I want to apologize for my bullheadedness and the offensive/personal content in my posts. I swear to you that I was trying to temper my anger with humor, but I know it doesn't always come through.

Anyway, I still hate this film. But I'm going to just have to deal with it. It's not worth losing acquaintances and friends I've had here for a long time.

PS New Year's Resolution: Only four rants like this for 2010! :)

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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 It's like trying to look through dirty glass for over an hour until you either quit or don't mind it. 

 

 

You've encouraged me to pull out my DVD copy and see if I react to it now the same way I did a couple of years ago.  As to your analogy, are those the only two options?  I know there are others.  I've driven my car with smeared birdwaste on the windshield at eye-level, and quitting driving isn't an option.  And I still mind it.  I'm gonna keep driving, keep noticing it and keep hoping for cleansing.  I don't think the film invites us to capitulate to the ugliness that we can push out and into our spouse and kids.  

 

 Painful film for Wes Anderson fans, yes it is.

 

That was part of the appeal, to be honest.  Something about those Wes Anderson films-- the overmanicured mise-en-scene, the ironic dialogue, Jason Schwartzman-- makes the emotional beats of his films stand out a bit too much sometimes, like the way the suicide attempt in Tenenbaums seems so abruptly serious in a misplaced way that it has to be set to montage.  


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I'm still on board for more Wes Anderson and Whit Stillman productions, being just a fledgling viewer still.

Wes Anderson only produced The Squid and the Whale.  It was written and directed by Noah Baumbach (Kicking and Screaming, Margot at the Wedding, Greenberg, Frances Ha) and it has many more stylistic and thematic similarities with those films than with any Wes Anderson or Whit Stillman films.  Although to be fair, all three of those directors do share a very stylistic, dark quirky humor, but The Squid and the Whale is not a film I would primarily associate with Wes Anderson.

Edited by Evan C

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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Can I gently suggest you don't take it off your watchlist? As someone who appreciates SQUID AND THE WHALE but understands your reaction to the film, and someone who loathed Baumbach's next film, GREENBERG, I was pleasantly surprised to find out I kind of loved FRANCES HA.


"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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...someone who loathed Baumbach's next film, GREENBERG, I was pleasantly surprised to find out I kind of loved FRANCES HA

 

Maybe if I saw Greenberg it would keep from being infatuated with Gerwig, but I won't. I'll reconsider Francis Ha based on your comment and that you are credible by being studious in Ontario.  Hey she's your age, I'm really too old for her. I just read her real-life parents portrayed Frances's parents. So you met her parents already, what do you think? Off topic.

I second everything Anders said.  I liked The Squid and the Whale a lot, but it's one of those films I would just about never recommend to anyone.  After a great first half, Greenberg goes completely off the rails in its second half, which culminates with an incredibly distasteful ending.  Frances Ha was delightful from start to finish, and its nowhere near as dark as The Squid and the Whale.  Gerwig was clearly huge influence on Frances Ha as well.


"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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Like Anders, I remember despising Greenberg, but unlike Anders I don't remember hating the entire film -- just Gerwig in it. I wondered aloud whether it was her character or the actress who bothered me; I could't tell the difference, which very well might mean she gave a great performance in Greenberg. But I didn't want to watch it again to confirm.

 

Then I saw Frances Ha, found Gerwig delightful, and thought I should really try Greenberg again.

 

But I still haven't.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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