Cast: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz
Director: Roman Polanski
The idea of watching four people arguing in a room for eighty minutes hardly sounds like fun. But this is a film by Roman Polanski, and the acting's top notch.
Brimming with sharp, witty dialogue, and unfolding in a slightly cramped upscale New York apartment, 'Carnage' is a wickedly funny chamber piece in which the Longstreets (Jodie Foster and John C Reilly) invite the Cowans (Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz) over for a hopefully civilized chat, when their son is assaulted by the Cowans' boy in a nearby park. Fueled by alcohol and their own prejudices, what starts off as a well-mannered affair quickly descends into an all-out war, where words become weapons.
All four actors are in solid form, but it's Christoph Waltz who deserves special mention here as a cynical corporate lawyer, who's invariably interrupted by calls on his Blackberry during the most heated moments of argument. Over the course of the row, that offending mobile phone is flung into a flower vase, a purse is hurled across the room, and someone vomits all over a stack of fancy art books.
It's all extremely funny, and Polanski enjoys stripping his characters off their dignity, to show us that good manners after all are only skin-deep.
I'm going with three-and-a-half out of five for 'Carnage'. In the end your sympathy is reserved for the children of these obnoxious folks; the only thing those kids need to be protected against are their dangerous parents. Don't miss this film if you're a fan of good acting and delicious dialogue.
Rating: 3.5 / 5
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