Saturday, October 1, 2011

NYFF 2011 Carnage (2011)

I saw some of Roman Polanski's latest film Carnage which is an adaptation of Yasmina Reza's award winning stage play God of Carnage about two sets of parents to discuss civilly the fight that occurred between their kids.

I saw the source on stage with the original Broadway cast (Marsha Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels, James Gandolfini and Hope Davis.) They were loose and real and very funny, despite the play seeming to be way too formal to ever completely shake the notion of being constructed, the cast sold it.

Polanski's film has Jodie Foster, Kate Winslett, Christoph Waltz and John C Reilly as the pairs of parents who end up reduced to their basest level. Sadly despite being opened up the film feels even more artificial than the stage play.

Blame it on Polanski who has made a too formal film. Also blame the actors who are all too obviously acting and never letting it all hang out. They simply don't feel like real people. Lastly blame the trimming down of the script which lost a chunk of material since the play which ran around 95 minutes on stage, now runs about 75 without end credits.

Admittedly I only saw some of the film, and I didn't make it all the way to the end but what I saw never clicked with me. Its not bad but it's way too artsy fartsy for my tastes. I'd wait for cable or Netflix.

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