Saturday, November 19

squid vs. whale: the deathmatch

Joint custody blows, that's the tag line from "The Squid and the Whale," and I'm glad I when my parents divorced it wasn't messy like the marriage that disintegrates in this movie. Nonetheless the kids cruise along, perhaps a bit too smoothly, through their suffering and weird acting out.

I hadn't realized until now that Wes Anderson co-wrote "The Life Aquatic" with Noah Baumbach, the writer-director of Squid & Whale, rather than with his former collaborator, Owen Wilson. Maybe that's why I didn't like Life Aquatic as much. (Although, I didn't like Royal Tenenbaums (or Big Lebowski, or others) the first time I watched them and then they grew on me.) Squid & Whale had the same kind of muted emotional tone as Life Aquatic, which was more a directorial choice than due to the writing. Anderson produced "Squid & Whale," but I'm not sure whether he or Baumbach—or both—are responsible for that feeling.

I did like Squid & Whale the first time, but I think there's still room for it to grow on me. Maybe not a classic, but I'll be following what Baumbach does next.


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