Movies – Squid and the Whale

Maybe I saw this film too soon after ‘Jules and Jim’, but Noah Baumbach’s The Squid And The Whale was just excruciating. Well-acted, well-shot, with some interesting small revelations that accumulated slowly. But I’ll quote a Metacritic user who sums up my feelings exactly:

‘Far be it from me to suggest that a feature film should tell a story rather than submit its audience to self-indulgent scab-ripping. I sat through this film because the actors did a decent job with what is in essence directorial psychic masturbation captured on celluloid. I refuse to give credit to a film ONLY for being “real,” as if leaving the camcorder running in divorce court constitutes art. And while it is entirely possible for a “painful” film to be excellent, one cannot mistake pain for excellence. The film WAS painful to watch, and the acting WAS above average. However, there was nothing in the film to redeem the painful experience. Is the “message” that married adults divorcing in an orgy of narcissism harms the psychological development of children? So am I supposed to thank the director for poking me in the eye with a stick to convey the painfully obvious?’

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