Review – Carnage

A short review of the upcoming Carnage. I need some sleep. I also need to finish A Clash of Kings.

Review – Carnage

2011, 80 mins, 15, Dir. Roman Polanski, starring Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly

Carnage

Based on the Tony award-winning play, Roman Polanski’s Carnage is one of the few films released recently that is actually funny. That’s right, consistently laugh-out-loud, gut-burstingly funny. What’s especially impressive about it is that it takes place almost entirely within the confines of a single room. There’s nothing special cinematically about it, unlike some of Polanski’s previous works, but there’s no denying the acerbic wit of the script. It revolves around two sets of parents (Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly; Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz) who meet in the former’s New York apartment to discuss an act of violence between their respective 11-year old sons. What begins as a slightly gawkish but respectable meeting between these adults soon descends into an afternoon of madness, the two couples beginning a verbal slugfest in which no one is safe. What I liked about the film was the way in which each character was initially so wildly different – Foster interested in art and a campaigner for equal rights; Waltz a restless and apathetic businessman – thoughts and opinions soon don’t matter when, following Reilly’s distribution of Scotch, each becomes as childish as the other. The irony of the characters’ behaviour and the impeccable timing of the film in itself is astonishing. It doesn’t overstay its welcome at a ripe 80 minutes long, and when I say it is frequently hilarious… it is. Go and see Carnage. You’ll laugh, and perhaps grimace at the spectacular projectile vomit scene, but above all you will appreciate its sheer brilliance as a comedy. It’s ridiculous but very well-performed.

5 stars out of 5

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