Cinema Express: Carnage (2011)

Roman Polanski’s latest film, Carnage, stands out among the director’s work, not because it is a masterpiece, but because it is a comedy adapted for the screen from a play. With four talented stars (Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly, and Christopher Waltz) and a script that confines its characters to a single apartment, it succeeds in delivering smart entertainment as well as plenty of laughs. The story centers on the meeting of two married couples whose sons got into a fight in school. The parents of the bully visit the home of the other family for a civilized discussion of the fight, but as time goes on their cordial conversation becomes a fiery argument and all manners evaporate. The actors and actresses are all terrific, each embodying his or her character completely. The dialogue is well-crafted and , thanks to the cast’s excellent delivery, whip-smart and piercingly funny. This is one of the few comedies of 2011 that I would strongly recommend and the only aspect of it that I actually disliked is its runtime. At 70 minutes, it was a little disappointing to see the story end where it did. I felt like this could have been a great film if it had expanded its story and setting a little, but on its own modest scale, it’s a very enjoyable film.


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