26 August 2010 | E Canuck
Forgive and forget the weaker parts of a pretty interesting film
Not being acquainted with Todd Solondz before now, I found myself comparing "Life During Wartime" at an advance screening tonight to the Cohen brothers, "A Serious Man"-- a film I really enjoyed. It felt like it was hitting a lot of the same notes at the front end of the film, with its humour and the Jewish family life. This was considerably darker--don't worry, I noticed.
I found the Ciaran Hinds story and acting strong, though it made me wary I was being set up to think, "Oh, not such a bad guy, after all." I was relieved this never went further than to suggest, "only human, after all." I'd be interested to hear what some of my social worker friends think of how the film treats this family's big secret, especially in light of the forgiveness theme.
Joy's thread in this film, quirky and fun as it was at times, felt the weakest. There was something about the character's little girl voice and the vacillation and mood swings that started to annoy and distract me, after a time. Maybe the director was just playing with another cliché, there, about long-suffering women, but, well, see for yourself.