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Film / The Squid and the Whale

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The Squid and the Whale is a 2005 American independent arthouse comedy-drama film written and directed by Noah Baumbach and produced by Wes Anderson. It tells the semi-autobiographical story of two boys in Brooklyn dealing with their parents' divorce in 1986. The film is named after the giant squid and sperm whale diorama housed at the American Museum of Natural History, which is seen in the film. The film was shot on Super 16mm, mostly using a handheld camera. At the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, the film won awards for best dramatic direction and screenwriting, and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Baumbach later received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The film received six Independent Spirit Award nominations and three Golden Globe nominations. The New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review voted its screenplay the year's best.


Tropes associated with this film:

  • Adults Are Useless: Bernard and Joan are pretty crappy parents. However, at least Joan kind of made somewhat an attempt. It turns out Bernard didn't really contribute much to his children's lives.
  • Alpha Bitch: Joan
  • Central Theme: The impact divorce has on their children.
  • Children Are Innocent: Frank
  • Humans Are Bastards: Or in this movies case, Parents Are Bastards. Both of the parents are arrogant and self-centered who think they care about their kids but really just want to be seen as the better person. They are quite neglectful of their kids usually making Walt need to be the one to look after his little brother Frank.
  • Jerkass: Both Bernard and Joan are pretty terrible.
    • Bernard especially as he is very self-centered and arrogant.
    • Joan has still made an occasional attempt to be a part of their families lives but is still an unfaithful Alpha Bitch
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  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Walt
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: Walt tries to pass of Pink Floyd's "Hey You" as an original song he wrote for the school talent show.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Pretty cynical throughout the movie.
  • Writers Suck: Both Bernard and Joan are writers.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Joan is pretty un-faithful to her husband and not quite loyal to her kids.


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