This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



take measure of their lives in THE SQUID AND THE WHALE

Walt (Jesse Eisenberg) and Lili (Anna Paquin) take measure of their lives in THE SQUID AND THE WHALE

Nitehawk Cinema
136 Metropolitan Ave. between Berry St. & Wythe Ave.
November 30 & December 1, 12 noon

We have no idea how Noah Baumbach managed to pull this off. You’ll think you’ll know just where his 2005 Sundance Film Festival award winner (for writing and directing) and New York Film Festival hit is going — yet another painfully realistic look into the dissolution of a New York City family — but lo and behold, The Squid and the Whale will surprise you over and over again. And even when it does head toward the cliché route, it adds just the right twist to keep things fresh. Bernard (Jeff Daniels) and Joan Berkman (Laura Linney) are reaching the end of their marriage, and their two sons, Walt (Jesse Eisenberg) and Frank (Owen Kline), aren’t handling it very well; Walt is taking credit for having written Pink Floyd’s “Hey You,” and Frank has developed the curious habit of pleasuring himself and then – well, you’ll have to see it to believe it. And while Joan hits the dating scene and has begun writing, Bernard is becoming a woolly has-been author who just might be getting the hots for one of his sexy students (Anna Paquin). Set in 1986 Park Slope (there are scenes shot in Prospect Park, the Santa Fe Grill, and other familiar locations), The Squid and the Whale features sharp dialogue, well-developed characters, and outstanding acting. The soundtrack includes Lou Reed’s great “Street Hassle” and a score, composed by Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips (of the defunct Luna), that borrows liberally from Risky Business, of all things. The Squid and the Whale is screening November 30 & December 1 at 12 noon as part of the Nitehawk Cinema series “November Brunch & Midnite: Thx Bklyn,” a month-long collection of films either set in Brooklyn or written and/or directed by Brooklynites or both, as in the case of Baumbach (Frances Ha, Greenberg), who was born in Brooklyn and graduated from Midwood High, and his much-loved 2005 work.

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