Comedy Movies, by Mike Richardson, 09 February 2012

Director: Roman Polanski

Stars: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz

Country: USA

Runtime:

Release Date:

Language: English

Some people don’t like going to the theatre and while some intellectual snobs may argue that it’s their loss, and look down on films like Carnage. However Carnage the film, taken from an award winning stage play is just intellectual enough to appeal across the board.

The film is concerned with two sets of parents whose sons, both 11 years old, have been involved in a fight that saw a tooth knocked out, shock horror! What starts out as a deeply civilised meeting where the adults deal with the situation in an overly grown-up matter soon deteriorates into carnage that makes you question who is the most mature the parents…or the children.

Carnage

Carnage

Carnage is a wonderful black comedy based on the play God of Carnage by French playwright Yasmina Rezaco-(co)written and directed by Roman Polanski. The director excels at the idea that childish morals and pettiness lurk just beneath the polite veneer of civilized society and is a welcome as the issues and themes are given such a great spin by everybody involved. The entire 80 minutes is set inside an apartment block and looks just like a filmed stage play, rather than a cinematic re-imagining of a play (like Polanski’s Macbeth did).

Polanski is a master of this sort of thing and while Carnage doesn’t come close to Repulsion, the Tenant or Cul-de-sac it nails the middle class petty squabbles like a smack in the face with a stick.

Each of the four leads surely is worth an Oscar nomination at least, however it is typical of the Academy that a four-way split will always detract from each other. Still this film is an absolute joy to go and watch if you like seeing four great actors ply their trade.

Waltz is great as a slimy lawyer, Reilly is brilliant as a thick right-winger dressed up as a liberal; Winslet is fabulous as a choked up and vomiting belittled wife; and Foster is fantastic as a politically correct left-winger, desperately trying to hang on to her “rightness”.

Carnage is proper grown-up film dealing with proper grown-up issues and standards. It sits comfortably alongside Young Adult, as a blackly funny expose of self-perception and bitter truths, although the two films are utterly different in style, tone and content.

This is definitely worth a watch, and anyone who tells you that the stage play is better, is just showing off the fact that it been to the theatre.

Our Rating: 8/10

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