Infidelity, ensuing divorce and their effects on the children – the staple fodder of many a film and TV drama. The heart may grow heavy on learning that a key character aspires to success in the hallowed profession of novelist, but this is a most refreshing sample of the modern-family-in-crisis genre. With excellent performances from Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney and William Baldwin, the barbed humour creeps up most satisfyingly (“bittersweet without the sweet” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian). (81 mins)
Dir: Noah Baumbach, USA 2005


“Extremely good”

“Charming and engaging”

“Sad and funny in equal parts”

“Poignant and true to life, with ripples affecting not only the children but their developing relationships”

“Very evocative of time and place – NYC and Central Park – and the urban conflicts of that time. The acting was excellent.”

“It’s a cat’s life!”

“A dog’s life if you (had to) live with that father.”

“I liked the music. Watchable. Story a bit weak and why (set in) 1986? Could have been the same situation any year!”

“Well acted and observed but I couldn’t warm to anybody – and I didn’t like the music!”

“Tough but so what?”

“I cannot make any useful comment about this dysfunctional pair.”

“I can understand why the poor cat ran away!”

“Difficult to make out what they were saying sometimes. Great credits (but) any resemblance to a real squid, living or dead, was purely co-incidental.”

“Inconclusive and pointless. The scene in the Natural History Museum was a redeeming feature.”

“What a load of rubbish!”

“And what happened next?”


A:7, B:17, C:8, D:2, E:1 to give 69%