THE SQUID AND THE WHALE | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
The divorce of two literary types in 1986 Brooklyn brings assorted trouble to their two sons in Noah Baumbach's painfully funny dramedy. While the parents sulk, spar over joint custody (including the cat) and get self-actualized, 16-year-old Walt dips a tentative toe in the dating pool, while his younger brother goes quietly off the rails. A wry script and a strong cast -- including mom Laura Linney, and Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline as the brothers -- neatly skewer the fractured Berkman family, yet keep our sympathies aligned with their frailties and basic good intentions. Still, everyone this fall will be talking about Jeff Daniels, a heretofore blandish actor who, with a gloomy gray beard that lends him a perpetual hangdog look, plays the pathetic and self-absorbed dad: He's a sad fool you can't take your eyes off of. Squirrel Hill (AH)

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