Coming Thursday: My review of "The Squid and the Whale" and a Bruce Cockburn concert review

Last night I saw one of the year’s best films–The Squid and the Whale–which is a deeply saddening film about the consequences of divorce and joint custody on children.

Noah Baumbach first got my attention in 1995 with a delightfully rowdy comedy about college and dating called Kicking and Screaming. He also co-wrote The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou for Wes Anderson. The guy has a thing for telling honest and poignant stories about love, ego, and broken families.

Here, has brought to life a severely dysfunctional family: foul-mouthed, selfish, sexually misbehaving, and almost entirely naive when it comes to love. The result is often unpleasant and sometimes downright painful, in the same way that Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm was painful. But it’s funny, convincing, and full of passion. You can tell that Baumbach needs to tell this story. And the result is a memorable and meaningful picture.

It also features what I believe to be the best performance of Jeff Daniels’ career. You’ve never seen him do anything like it.

For discerning adults only. The parents swear like they’re trying to break some kind of record, and thus their kids follow in kind.

My full review will be up late tomorrow, and I’ll cover it in CT’s Film Forum as well.

* * *


Tomorrow night I’ll be attending Bruce Cockburn‘s solo show at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. I can’t wait. I think this is my fifth Cockburn show. He never lets me down. And since he’s supporting his new instrumental album, Speechless, it’ll probably be focused more on his guitar pyrotechnics and less on his radio singles. That’s fine with me.

I’ll give you a run-down of the show on Thursday.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

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    Bruce Cockburn: two words: so good.


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