January 5th: Carnage


Release Date: 2011
Director: Roman Polanski
Why I picked this: The cast

A simple concept: two married couples meet at one’s apartment to discuss a physical confrontation that their children had at a playground. The movie is confined to this apartment, and has the four players, them being Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly, and Jodie Foster, turning a civilized conversation into a series of frantic and silly arguments. This movie is based on the play “God of Carnage,” and this movie certainly feels like a play. The great Roman Polanski directed this, and it’s clear that he worked with the four main actors very well, but the film, as entertaining and funny as it gets, does nothing special with the medium of film to justify the existence of this movie. The only extra piece is briefly showing the confrontation between the children. It can come across as a light and less superior take on “12 Angry Men.” Still, the performances are wonderful, with the female leads, Winslet and Foster having the strongest performances. Waltz and Reilly are fine, but I sometimes (surprisingly, too) found myself bored by their performances.

Strong acting, but this probably should have stayed a play.


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