Victoria Jelinek

Life during Wartime
May 26, 2010, 10:49 am
Filed under: Published film reviews

The story is about three sisters’ search for happiness: Trish is separated from her incarcerated paedophile husband Bill, and hoping for a new life with Harvey, when her husband is released from prison; virginal Joy is haunted by ghosts of her dead lovers; while Helen lives a life of empty Hollywood wealth with her lover.

Director Todd Solodz drew on his New Jersey upbringing to craft dark social comedies that gave voice to America’s forgotten suburbanites and their lonely, isolated lives in his previous films Welcome to the Dollhouse and Happiness. In Life During Wartime, Solodz extends these stories and covers topics such as paedophilia, abortion, and the Holocaust; the moral being that trauma can prompt a person to change their identity.

A dark and surreal film, this is a brave venture for Solodz. The cast is competent across the board, with Allison Janey (Juno, The West Wing) and Ciaran Hinds (Harry Potter, Road to Perdition) giving exceptional performances (UK 15).
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