Carnage – ***

Posted: April 23, 2012 in 2011, Comedy, France, Germany, XXX

Now, this was a fun movie. I missed it at the cinema’s, but it was just as good on my iPad this afternoon on the train. The trailer was promising and it delivered! I’ve read mixed reviews about this movie, but I can’t possibly think of a reason why you would NOT like it. The script is good, the dialogue even better and the acting almost perfect. At least for the majority of the 80 minutes. As the conversation got more intense, the acting got more and more over the top and the abrupt end leaves the viewer a bit unsatisfied. But in all in all: great cinema!

Now, the story is really very simple. After an argument one kid lashes out a tree branch at another kid, who breaks a few teeth in the process and gets left with several scars. That’s the first minute of the movie. The other 79  minutes (well, 74, because the end credits take up 5) you get to see two sets of parents trying to talk about what they should do about the incident. Now, this may not sound exciting, but to me it was! It’s clear that this originally is a theatre production, but for me it worked very well as a motion picture. Everything is set in the apartment of the victim’s parents! And there’s only four actors! What more do you need?

Kate Wynslet and Jodie Foster are great as the two mothers. They both got a Golden Globe nomination for their performance. But I personally liked the men more. John C Reilly, who normally only plays in these stupid dumb ass comedies, is incredible here. And Christopher Waltz is perfect. These are just four people who I could have watched for several more hours! They won a few ensemble cast awards and deservedly. They interact amazingly. Even though you see it’s scripted, it feels like it’s all improvised. As mentioned before, there’s a lot of overacting at the end when all four of them just had a bit too much whiskey. But it didn’t bother me at all. The fact that they basically are annoying characters neither. On the contrary.

I laughed quite a lot. Wasn’t bored at all. And impressed by what I saw. So hey: ***. If not more.


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