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July 16, 2013 / ljbradburn-Smith



I haven’t reviewed any films on my blog yet, I am usually far too excited about books or my cat to think about anything else but I will make an exception for this film. Based on the french play, The God of Carnage, and translated for an English-speaking audience, a couple of years ago, this hour-long film gives the viewer an insight in to the lives of two New York couples battling on behalf of their wayward sons.

True to the play genre the majority of the action takes place in just the one room with only glimpses in to a few other rooms, in the same apartment. This is well translated in to the medium of film and far from being a negative thing the claustrophobic setting, coupled with the witty script is what makes this film so awkwardly funny.

When we join the two couples, they are discussing their respective sons’ behaviour in a manner so overly polite and civilised, that you could almost be forgiven for believing that you imagined the tense atmosphere and that the smiles were insincere. Almost, but not quite thanks to the fantastic actors who perfectly portray the tension and underlying resentment that lies not too far beneath the surface. After failed exit attempts, scotch, unwanted phone calls, and a bit too much cake they quickly revert to bickering and trying to out-do one another which is strangely reminiscent of the behaviour they are claiming to dislike, in their children. This emotionally charged, witty take on the delights of parenthood, marriage and being an upstanding citizen is fantastically acted by Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C Reilly and Christoph Waltz.

Personally I really enjoyed the quirkiness of this film. I loved the fast paced dialogue and the multitude of life’s issues that were crammed in to just over an hour. I also appreciated the ‘what if’ element of the film that explores what can happen if the filter that exists between what people think and what they feel is acceptable to say is dramatically cast aside in favour of letting rip with your feelings and reacting to individual situations as isolated events. This saw the respective parents change loyalties several times, often resulting in an extremely quick change of mood, as the battle of the parents became the battle of the sexes quickly to switch back again. The actors were all  more then able to display the range of emotions required to carry off the ever-changing atmosphere. Jodie Foster in particular played the neurotic mother role scarily well.

If, like me, you have a penchant for films with a little less action and a lot more talking then this is one for you. Check out the trailer here.



Leave a Comment
  1. Sherri / Jul 17 2013 3:32 pm

    All incredible actors but two words here…Kate Winslet! Love this post Lydia!

    • ljbradburn / Jul 20 2013 9:24 am

      Thanks very much Sherri 🙂 She is wonderful isn’t she? I’ve been in love since I first saw her in Titanic! x

  2. thebiggestsmile / Jul 17 2013 7:27 pm

    You have a great gift for writing reviews, have you considered doing it professionally?

    • ljbradburn / Jul 20 2013 9:20 am

      arrr thanks very much, you are too kind! I would absolutely love to but just not sure if i’m good enough yet or quite how to go about it. I am determined to follow a career in writing though! 🙂 x

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