Life During Wartime

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Todd Solondz is still perhaps best known for ‘Happiness’, the awkward yet affecting story of an extended New Jersey family, and one of the few recent movies to feature a father-son heart-to-heart about paedophilia. ‘Life During Wartime’ picks up the story a decade on. The characters are the same but the actors different: when child rapist Bill, played then by Dylan Baker and now by Ciarán Hinds, is released from prison, his wife Trish (Allison Janney) and sons try to deal with the fallout; her sisters Joy (Shirley Henderson) and Helen (Ally Sheedy), meanwhile, wrangle with dead lovers and the vagaries of Hollywood. Solondz’s ongoing interests in young adolescence and social taboos ensure some shocks but his underlying interests are sincere and humane: the consequences of trauma, the capacity for self-delusion, the possibility of change and the necessity of forgiveness.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday April 23 2010
Duration: 96 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Todd Solondz
Screenwriter: Todd Solondz
Cast: Alison Chitty
Ally Sheedy
Paul Reubens
Ciarán Hinds
Charlotte Rampling

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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david glowacki

The two Guardian reviewers both seemed to have missed the main thrust of the film,looking at it in a skindeep way.This is far better than his previous hit "Happiness"He addresses serious issues,thinly veiled in comdedy.The issues are the things you are not allowed to talk about,eg the obession of Jews for all thing Israel.Yet not having ever been there or even sure where it is.The paranoia of terrorism.Who are the terrorists,is it perhaps the supposed terrorised.Is it always permissable to apportion blame and guilt to people,ie pedeafiles,the 9/11 perpetrators.All of course smacks of the truth,the real truth.He derides,above all the quest for racial purity amongst the Jewish diaspora.Some very witty scenes,and Shirley Henderson,as usual is wonderful.A powerful,thought provoking film,that questions the very nature of what is right or wrong as laid down by supposed self righteous democratic societies.Not a film for the political right wingers in society.Excellent 5 stars

david glowacki

The two Guardian reviewers both seemed to have missed the main thrust of the film,looking at it in a skindeep way.This is far better than his previous hit "Happiness"He addresses serious issues,thinly veiled in comdedy.The issues are the things you are not allowed to talk about,eg the obession of Jews for all thing Israel.Yet not having ever been there or even sure where it is.The paranoia of terrorism.Who are the terrorists,is it perhaps the supposed terrorised.Is it always permissable to apportion blame and guilt to people,ie pedeafiles,the 9/11 perpetrators.All of course smacks of the truth,the real truth.He derides,above all the quest for racial purity amongst the Jewish diaspora.Some very witty scenes,and Shirley Henderson,as usual is wonderful.A powerful,thought provoking film,that questions the very nature of what is right or wrong as laid down by supposed self righteous democratic societies.Not a film for the political right wingers in society.Excellent 5 stars