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The Squid and the Whale (2005)

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Follows two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.

Director:

Noah Baumbach

Writer:

Noah Baumbach
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 47 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Owen Kline ... Frank Berkman
Jeff Daniels ... Bernard Berkman
Laura Linney ... Joan Berkman
Jesse Eisenberg ... Walt Berkman
William Baldwin ... Ivan
David Benger David Benger ... Carl
Anna Paquin ... Lili
Molly Barton Molly Barton ... Graduate Student
Bo Berkman Bo Berkman ... Graduate Student
Matthew Kaplan Matthew Kaplan ... Graduate Student
Simon Kaplan Simon Kaplan ... Graduate Student
Matthew Kirsch Matthew Kirsch ... Graduate Student
Daniella Markowicz Daniella Markowicz ... Graduate Student
Elizabeth Meriwether ... Graduate Student
Ben Schrank Ben Schrank ... Graduate Student
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Storyline

In 1986, In Brooklyn, New York, the dysfunctional family of pseudo intellectuals composed by the university professor Bernard and the prominent writer Joan split. Bernard is a selfish, cheap and jealous decadent writer that rationalizes every attitude in his family and life and does not accept "philistines" - people that do not read books or watch movies, while the unfaithful Joan is growing as a writer and has no problems with "philistines". Their sons, the teenager Walt and the boy Frank, feel the separation and take side: Walt stays with Bernard, and Frank with Joan, and both are affected with abnormal behaviors. Frank drinks booze and smears with sperm the books in the library and a locker in the dress room of his school. The messed-up and insecure Walt uses Roger Water's song "Hey You" in a festival as if it was of his own, and breaks up with his girlfriend Sophie. Meanwhile Joan has an affair with Frank's tennis teacher Ivan and Bernard with his student Lili. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Joint Custody Blows.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic dialogue and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Squid and the Whale See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$279,938, 14 October 2005

Gross USA:

$7,362,100
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the 2005 on-set documentary, Jesse Eisenberg can be heard questioning the film composer Dean Wareham about which song he will be performing at the talent show, and asks whether it will be "Behind the Lines", a 1980 Genesis track. But Wareham explains that they didn't get the rights, and Eisenberg would therefore be performing the Pink Floyd track which made the film. See more »

Goofs

The Squid and the Whale display in the museum is in reality not brightly lit. It is a very dark display meant to simulate the inky depths of the ocean. (It probably would not show up on film as it really exists.) See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Frank Berkman: Mom and me versus you and Dad.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits include this dedication: "For Mannie". See more »

Connections

References The Mother and the Whore (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Figure 8
Written by Bob Dorough (as Robert Dorough)
Performed by Blossom Dearie
Courtesy of American Broadcasting Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Very real learning experience, but ultimately boring
13 July 2006 | by sideriteSee all my reviews

This movie is a good film, that's for sure. The actors perform brilliantly and the script is original and touching. However, all this is boring.

I guess people with an interest in the social aspect of one's life will find this very nice and good. For the parents (and children) who are on the same path as the character, should they choose to really understand the movie, it will be a learning experience that will save them from a lot of pain and anguish.

OK, the guy is a cowardly hypocrite that hides behind his intellectual aura tons of frustration and, surely enough, stupidity. The woman leaves a life of discomfort and maybe even fear, but lacks the courage to do anything about it. She cheats on the husband then leaves clues to it, so that the responsibility of the divorce would fall on him. The sons pick sides based on age, both mimicking behaviour that they don't understand yet, and thus making fools of themselves. Very weird and socially tense situations, but that's it. After the first half an hour you know everything there is to know, only the awkward situations remain, in a hostile, not humorous manner.

The ending is as devoid of resolution as the entire content. The problems are there, you know what, where, when and how, but there is no solution. In the end, the film is nothing but a portrait, you either like it or you don't.


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