french films > Carnage




Review score: * * * * *

cast: John C. Reilly, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet

year: 2011

colour: yes

certificate: 15

director: Roman Polanski

runtime: 80

A black comedy based on God of Carnage, a play by French playwright, Yasmine Reza.
Although the film is based in Brooklyn, the film had to be shot in Paris because of Polanski fugitive status.

When two grade-school boys get into a confrontation in the park that results in one boy hitting the other in the mouth with a stick, their parents meet in a Brooklyn apartment to discuss the matter.

The parents of the boy wielding the stick, Alan and Nancy Cowan (Waltz & Winslet), visit the home of Michael and Penelope Longstreet (Reilly & Foster), who are the parents of the boy who was struck.

Their meeting is initially intended to be a short visit but various circumstances, such as Nancy vomiting in the Longstreet's living room and Alan's numerous cell phone conversations, continue to draw it out.

At first, the verbal exchange between the two married couples maintains a high civility factor but when the differences between them start to emerge, subtly at first and eventually glaringly, the couples begin to turn on each other and finally each on their own spouse.

As their civility and inhibition washes away, aided by a bottle of Scotch whisky, the geniality vanishes, descending fully into verbal warfare with all their character flaws laid bare.

In the end, the film cuts to footage of the two boys reconciling on their own, without the aid of their parents and while the credits roll, they are shown continuing to play in the park.


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