April 28 WEEKENDER – Martin’s Movie Pick: Carnage

Carnage certainly did not jump off the wall of the video store when I went to peruse, but on closer inspection, its cast was impressive.

Carnage certainly did not jump off the wall of the video store when I went to peruse, but on closer inspection, its cast was impressive.

Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz – I was familiar with Reilly but not Waltz.  Directing Carnage is Roman Polanski, a name familiar to most of us so I decided to give it a viewing and I’m glad I did.

The movie was shot in Paris, doubling for New York as Mr. Polanski is not allowed into the United States.  I was amazed to read of the awards this film has been nominated for, too many to mention here.  It was made in 2011 and based on the play God of Carnage.

This story starts of with a couple of parents visiting another couple to try and sort out their differences due to a fight their two young sons had, one hitting the other in the mouth with a stick.

It starts off with the usual niceties, manners abound, but wait, things get a bit rough indeed. Waltz’s role as a lawyer has his cellphone interrupting the afternoon frequently and then to everyone’s dismay, his wife, played by Winslet, feels ill following the dessert served by Foster.

She becomes sick in the living room, not a pretty sight, and blames this on her hostess’ food.

Well, things do not improve following this so it is decided to have a drink to relax a bit, wrong move indeed as the Scotch fuels each one and the dialogue goes from civil to, dare I say, carnage.

This film is very well directed by Polanski; the two female actors are very strong indeed and with their wonderful linguistic ability, find much to say about the other’s rearing of their child.

One starts to see that these two marriages leave much to be desired, not noticeable at first.  I will not give away the conclusion movie lovers, leave a little something for yourselves to see.

It is an unusual movie, no flashbacks or change of scenery, just pure dialogue and well acted indeed. Enjoy!

Liz Martin is a film critic for the Grand Forks Gazette, movie lover, cello player and happy retiree.