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The Movie: The Squid and The Whale

The Squid and The Whale, a tragicomedy, depicts a fracturing family and the reactions of the two sons to their parents' separation and impending divorce. The squid and the whale reference comes from a monumental diorama of a struggle between a gigantic squid and a whale at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. (Note: I didn't see a picture of the diorama on the museum's website. Just letting you know if you click on it thinking that the image would be there.)

The fight depicted between the two creatures is as monumental as the parents' conflict is in the minds of the sons. Each of the confused frightened and distraught boys responds to the parents' failing relationship and subsequent decisions in bizarre ways. Based on writer/director Noah Baumbach's memories of his parents separation and divorce when he was a boy of 16.

A synopsis on Ritz Filmbill
Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award as well as the best Dramatic Directing Award at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.
The Snicks' rating for this movie is five stars.

Two Movies: "The History of Violence" and "Proof".


After seeing the movie, The History of Violence, and, of course, relating it to the issue of estrangements, I thought, "Some estrangements are better left alone. Why would anyone in their right mind want to get back together with that guy unless he wanted to get back together with you? You'd just leave him the heck alone!"

I can't tell you any more or I'll spoil the movie for you if you haven't seen it.


Then there is the movie Proof with Gwyneth Paltrow playing the daughter to the genius mathematician father played by Anthony Hopkins. A central issue is the fear of insanity having been passed down from father to daughter, a fear that is reinforced by the suspicions of the controlling straitlaced buttondowned sister.

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Two Movies: "The History of Violence" and "Proof".

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Two Father/Son Estrangement Links

1. Talent, determination and Hamburger Helper: He has big year despite estrangement from his father by Ron Kroichick, Chronicle Staff Writer Sunday, September 18, 2005
From online article: "Farmington, Pa. -- Sean O'Hair spent the past two years as a thrifty golfing nomad, bouncing among obscure mini-tour events. He and his wife, Jackie, kept hot plates in the back of their Ford F-150 truck..."

2. Review of C.R.A.Z.Y., a film released in Canada in October 2005 on a father/son estrangement.
From the review: "C.R.A.Z.Y.  is a highly likeable and richly nuanced comedy-drama about growing up gay in an ordinary suburban Quebec family in the 60s and 70s. Though the story places the painful estrangement of father and son at the centre, writer/director  Jean-Marc Vallée  takes time and care to make all the characters well-rounded individuals with lives going on outside the main plotline."

Jennifer Aniston last night on Larry King

I tuned in for the interview and watched the whole show. It was mostly about the movie Derailed that Jennifer Aniston is in with Clive Owen. About acting and celebrity and papparazzi and the desire for a private life. Aniston did not want to talk about recent events in her private life or about private life at all. Larry King made some attempts to get her to talk about her private life with no success.

The media hysteria about the end of her marriage to Brad Pitt and the media hysteria about her in general has been obnoxious. She clearly wants the focus to be on her work as an actress and not on her private life.

My impression of her in the interview was of a very strong woman with a clear sense of direction. I could sense pain behind the words at times but also acceptance and determination to go forward.

I had hoped that she would talk about some things that interest me but understood why she wouldn't. In her position as a respected and popular actress, her opinions on some of the things that she has been through and what she has learned could benefit a lot of people if she was willing to share them. Maybe she will be willing to talk about them some day when she is ready.