Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12-17-11: ...and you wonder where their kids get it from.

CARNAGE (2011) (R) 81 mins. **** D: Roman Polanski. Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly.

After their sons are involved in a scuffle, the parents meet to discuss what to do about their boys. Their meeting begins cordially enough but gradually their true feelings and opinions begin to surface and the fireworks begin.

Roman Polanski brings together a fantastic cast in this adaptation of the play written by Yasmine Reza. Book-ended by scenes in a Brooklyn park, the film predominantly takes place in one apartment. The film by no means feels claustrophobic or dull by the lack of scenery. The limited locations means that once the verbal sparring begins there really is nowhere to run to.

This is a dark comedy on the lines of "War of the Roses." Funny with uncomfortable moments and many moments that are shockingly funny because you're surprised they went there. The four leads immerse themselves into their characters are are more than game to plum the lower depths of civility. I loved Waltz in particular. Alan is too preoccupied with work that he really has no interest in involving himself in what he believes is his wife's, played by Winslet, responsibility.

Just sit back and enjoy, or at least try to, the carnage.

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