well done and oddly pitched film that takes a certain kind to appreciate. it’s not as clearly off-the-wall as solondz’s work, but it approaches it at times. that said, the film trumps solondz in that it has a poignancy that his films generally lack. solondz can make you uncomfortable and push your boundaries and make you laugh, but this film does that (to a lesser degree) AND it makes you feel something. stylistically, it’s a cross between solondz and p.t. anderson.
the cast is uniformly solid. jennifer connelly is up there with lauren bacall in terms of onscreen beauty. kate winslet plays a tough character well. and patrick wilson provides some contrast to his character in hard candy. i can’t think of a stilted performance or miscast role in the entire film.
i’m not sure what the purpose or thesis of the film was. perhaps it, like seinfeld, was hoping to show how simple even adults can be. perhaps it was an attempt to humanize modern archetypes. maybe it just wanted to tell a poignant suburban tale. maybe it’s a bit of all of those. no matter what, it’s an entertaining and engaging film that will make you think, laugh and feel for a couple hours.Watched in theater