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The Squid and The Whale 2005 ***

Jesse Eisenberg has noted that many directors have seen him as an ideal surrogate for their personal projects; writer/director Noah Baumbach used him well for The Squid and The Whale. Eisenberg plays Walk, a young man growing up in Park Slope, Brooklyn in the 1980’s. His intellectual parents (Laura Linney and Jeff Daniels) are in the throes of a painful divorce, and Walk and his brother Frank (Owen Kline) are caught in the middle. As they contemplate their parents’ infidelities, the two boys face up to the complex world of the adults; the result is a poignant and sensitive account of the difficult choices a family faces through divorce, beautifully played by a game cast. The title is explained in the final, memorable scene.


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