DVD Life During Wartime [DVD] [Criterion Collection] (DVD 7052146),
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Life During Wartime [DVD] [Criterion Collection]

  • R
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Directed by Todd Solondz, this ensemble film tells the tale of a large dysfunctional family. Joy (Shirley Henderson) continues to have problems with her husband, Allen (Michael Kenneth Williams), and looks to her family for advice. A dead former boyfriend (Paul Reubens) continues to try to win her heart from the great beyond. Joy's sister, Trish (Allison Janney), meets a retiree whom she hopes will normalize her chaotic life. A third sister, screenwriter Helen (Ally Sheedy), is full of bitterness toward both her family and her career. Their mother, Mona (Rene Taylor), wants absolutely nothing to do with men. And, ex-con Bill (Ciarn Hinds), Trish's former husband, wants to reconcile with their son. LIFE DURING WARTIME is a pseudo-sequel to Solondz's HAPPINESS with different actors playing the same characters from that earlier film.
  • Credits
    Shirley Henderson, Michael, Kenneth Williams, Allison Janney, Michael Lerner, Dylan Snyder, Ciaran Hinds, Renee Taylor, Paul Rubenfeld, Pee-Wee Herman, Paul Mall
  • Critic Reviews
    4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he cast render these muddled people understandable....Janney juggles despair with forlorn hope, Charlotte Rampling grabs a brief cameo by the jugular and Dylan Riley Snyder pairs hurt with eagerness."
    Total Film

    "[I]t is the young Dylan Riley Snyder who gives the most engaging performance."
    Sight and Sound Critic

    "The actors handle the awkwardness beautifully, each finding a way to make Mr. Solondz's meticulous, slightly mannered dialogue sound like natural speech."
    New York Times

    4 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's clear this is out to provoke as strongly as HAPPINESS did..."

    "[A] creepy/beautiful, engrossing/repellent follow-up to his 1998 dystopian family epic HAPPINESS....In a staring contest with his audience, Solondz never blinks." -- Grade: B+
    Entertainment Weekly

    3 stars out of 5 -- "Both Henderson and Williams fit into the dark Solondz world by skillfully speaking in serious, measured tones, while discussing extreme activities."
    Box Office

    "This is the Solondz world....He evokes so effectively his own point of view, which is appalling and compulsive."
    Chicago Sun-Times

    "At times the film plays like a liberal mockumentary..."

    "[A] sharp-edged comic tragedy about families, forgiveness and the unsettling ironies that can threaten to unravel even an ordinary life."
    Los Angeles Times

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