Victoria Jelinek


Two pairs of parents (Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz) have a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight with each other. But as their time together progresses, and coffee is replaced by whiskey, the veneer of amenity is removed, and the barbs and revelations come out.

Directed by Roman Polanski (Chinatown, Repulsion, Rosemary’s Baby, The Ghost Writer) this is a dark, intellectual and extremely funny film; this viewer was guffawing and snickering throughout. We don’t know exactly what happened between the two sons of the respective couples – it doesn’t really matter as a plot, because this is a showcase for good writing and fine actors to portray four characters in detail. But even as the main characters are well-developed, realistic and interesting, it’s a short film (79 min).

Polanski and his quartet of excellent actors should all be nominated for an Oscar.  This is a darkly comic film worth seeing.

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