Sunday 26 February 2012

Today's Review: Carnage

Why people still want to work with Roman Polanski when he is wanted for raping a 13 year old girl in America, I have no idea. But hey, I'm not here to review the man, I'm here to review his latest movie, Carnage.

Carnage is based on the stage play God Of Carnage, as evidenced by the fact that the entire movie takes place in one apartment, and there are only four characters throughout. Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly play Penelope and Michael, the parents of Ethan, a boy who has been on the receiving end of a playground attack by schoolmate Zachary. Zachary's parents, Nancy and Alan (Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz), have been invited to Penelope and Michael's place to discuss the incident and hopefully settle things between the boys.

Of course, things just aren't that simple. After some polite discussion, and what seems to be the conclusion of the incident, comments are made and the situation quickly escalates into something completely different. Debates flow from the upbringing of children to the state of relationships and outlooks on life, all within the space of an hour and a half, with things only getting more heated with the introduction of alcohol.

Despite its small size, the cast of Carnage is fantastic. Kate Winslet and Jodie Foster are great, as they have proved with many performances in the past, and Christoph Waltz continues to blow me away as he has since I saw him in Inglourious Basterds. The only slightly out of place actor is Reilly, but he blends into the cast wonderfully, and the relationships and arguments between the four parents are fascinating, hilarious, and sometimes embarrassing to watch.

Stage adaptations into film are often a little flat and boring, as movies in a fixed location with a small amount of actors don't provide much stimulation on the big screen. Carnage does suffer from some pacing issues at some points, but really pulls it all together with a great script and wonderful acting. Waltz's facial expressions are spot on, and Winslet plays probably the most realistic drunk that I've seen in a long time. If the movie adaptation can be this good, I'd like to see it on stage.

My rating: 4/5

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