Sunday 1st December 2013

Director: Roman Polanski
Year: 2011
Stars: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C Reilly, Christoph Waltz

It's the beginning of December, so I should be watching bad (or even good) Christmas movies. Instead, I'm catching up on one of those movies I missed when it was released at the cinema, but was really keen to see. As far as I remember, it got fairly good reviews, but was criticised for feeling a little too like it should have been set on a stage - which was no great surprise, as Carnage is adapted from a stage play.

Penelope and Michael Longstreet (Foster and Reilly) are the parents of Ethan, a boy who has been physically bullied by Nancy and Alan Cowan's (Winslet and Waltz) child. The Longstreets invite the Cowans around to discuss the matter, but the meeting turns into what I guess you could call carnage.

The criticisms about Carnage are fair; it does feel exactly like this whole (short) movie should be set on a stage. It doesn't help massively that none of the characters are particularly likeable, so there's not really anybody to side with (although the acting is, on the whole, remarkably good, with nobody letting the side down). The other problem, for me, was that there was no closure. Everything just stopped. I guess that's kind of like real life, but at least in most movies (and often in life) people get to leave the house, or have a final word, or just give in. Here, everything just seems to carry on. You're just not watching it anymore.

Carnage isn't the worst movie I've ever seen, and it did keep me engaged for the full 80 minutes, but I am glad it was that short - and wouldn't recommend watching it if you're already feeling down. Unless, of course, you want to be reminded that your life isn't so bad after all.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

No comments:

About Me

My photo
I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.