The Squid and the Whale

“If you liked that, you’ll love this…” Sneaky when amazon do it, but it’s a logical way to proceed. Having really enjoyed Frances Ha a couple of weeks back, I now get the dvd of The Squid and the Whale  (same director) from Lovefilm. They’re both neat, witty, economical, but this is much more about blokes – two brothers and their dad, heavily outnumbering the sublime Laura Linney. (Frances Ha, acted and mainly written by Greta Gellwig, centres on a female friendship). Baumbach comes over as very smart, despite his habit of saying “you know” every other sentence. There’s a great bit where he’s talking about Bernard, the self-important intellectual dad played by Jeff Daniels, and he describes having to resist the Hollywood urge to impose an upward arc, redeem this self-centred fool. No. This is a guy who starts off as a painfully self-centred fool, and ends up the same way, probably sadder but not much wiser. Terrific.