Indie Gems: The Squid and the Whale

Joint custody sucks.

Professor Bernard Berkman (Jeff Daniels) and his writer wife, Joan (Laura Linney) have recently separated. They're children, Walt (Jesse Eisenberg) and Frank (Owen Cline) feel obligated to take sides in their parent's feud. It doesn't help that Bernard is selfish and sets his standards quite high. That and he let's one of his beautiful students, Lili (Anna Paquin) live with him and his boys. It also doesn't help that Joan is unfaithful and has trouble connecting with her older son while her younger son begins to act out in dramatic ways.

I have to point out that Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin played father in daughter nine years earlier in Fly Away Home, now they are playing lovers. It's kind of funny how that works out. That aside, the thing I liked the most about The Squid and the Whale is that is showed that side of divorce that is completely annoying. Joint custody, always having to plan time to see both parents separately, as a person from a divorced household, I get that. I also think the film did a great job of showing how divorce can affect a child's emotions. There were plenty of times where Frank's scenes could've been over the top, but they were done subtly and actually worked. I remember being a bit shocked during a scene in the library when I saw this film in theaters, but now that I think about it. It probably happens more than we are aware.

The acting in the film is top notch. I wouldn't expect anything less from Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney and Jesse Eisenberg. The film had a great flow and the soundtrack accompanying it was perfect.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "My Father said you had a weak handshake, which is a sign of indecision." - Sophie (Halley Feiffer)


  1. I have a strange weakness for movies about dysfunctional families, and I have a feeling I'd really like this one, especially since you said the acting is top notch. I've liked Laura Linney in everything I've ever seen her in.


Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by, let's talk movies!
(comments are moderated to reduce spam)

Popular posts from this blog

Review: The Batman

Random Ramblings: The Radio Flyer Conundrum

Thursday Movie Picks: Wedding Movies