The Squid and the Whale

Release Date: October 5, 2005
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Limited release

You can never get your own movie if you don't fight harder.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
36/60 Les Winan Jeff Daniels is outstanding, but the movie never quite takes off. Certainly interesting in a depressing, sad sort of way.
58/85 Kim Hollis I wanted to like it a lot more than I did.
127/166 David Mumpower If this is what Noah Baumbach's childhood was like, I'm glad I didn't know him. Has the most disgusting subplot of 2005.

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A film that gained some decent buzz at Sundance, The Squid and the Whale is from writer/director Noah Baumbach, whose most recent collaboration was with Wes Anderson on the screenplay for The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. The film won both the director's and the screenwriter's award at Sundance, as well as being nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.

The story is based on the true childhood experiences of Baumbach and his brother. Bernard Berkman (Jeff Daniels), the father of the eccentric Brooklyn family, claims that he was once a famous novelist, but he has now settled into a teaching job instead. His wife, Joan (Laura Linney), discovers that she has writing talent of her own, which causes jealousy to drive wedges between the various family members. The parents split up, and the two teenage Berkmans, Walt and Frank, are forced to forge new relationships with them.

As the kids try to deal with their parents' divorce, Joan begins an affair with her younger son's tennis coach. Making matters even worse, Bernard starts sleeping with one of his students - one whom his older son just happens to be romantically pursuing.

The Squid and the Whale has been favorably compared to The Royal Tenenbaums, which is probably no surprise given Baumbach's association with Anderson. With an outstanding cast and strong advance word, the movie should find some success upon its limited release. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Squid and the Whale
Main Cast Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg
Supporting Cast Owen Kline, Halley Feiffer, William Baldwin, Alexandra Daddario, Eli Gelb, Anna Paquin, Adam Rose, Benjamin Smolen
Director Noah Baumbach
Screenwriter Noah Baumbach
Distributor Samuel Goldwyn Co.
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 81 minutes
Screen Count 4
Awards Awards page for The Squid and the Whale
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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