Life During Wartime

2009

Comedy / Drama

12
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 69%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 48%
IMDb Rating 6.4 10 6046

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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Director

Cast

Gaby Hoffmann as Wanda
Allison Janney as Trish
Ally Sheedy as Helen
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
705.69 MB
1280*714
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 38 min
P/S 2 / 18
1.47 GB
1920*1072
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 38 min
P/S 1 / 15

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle 5 / 10

no joy

It's a sorta sequel to director Todd Solondz's 1998 film Happiness and the Jordan sisters. The characters are recast. Joy Jordan (Shirley Henderson) marries Allen Mellencamp (Michael K. Williams) who makes obscene calls and she is haunted by Andy (Paul Reubens). Bill Maplewood (CiarĂ¡n Hinds) is let out of prison serving for child molestation. His ex-wife Trish Jordan (Allison Janney) has to deal with her son Timmy finding out about Bill's crime. Bill starts dating Jacqueline (Charlotte Rampling). Trish is set to marry 'normal' Harvey Wiener (Michael Lerner). Helen Jordan (Ally Sheedy) is a successful screenwriter in California.

Recasting everybody has the weird sense of an alternate universe. It makes this a weirdly unreal movie. I can't say that the actors are inferior but they are different. I'm not a big fan of Happiness and this doesn't change that. I can't find any rooting interest in any of these characters. Some are downright kill worthy. The discussion between Trish and Timmy is so pathetic that it's almost funny. At least, it was memorable.

Reviewed by grantss 5 / 10

More a miss than a hit

Todd Solandz's films are generally hit-or-miss affairs, and the line between hitting or missing is generally quite fine. Always emotionally intense, and character-based, they can be taxing, even dull or pretentious, but hold the promise of being mind-blowingly profound.

Solandz's magnum opus was Happiness, in 1998. An incredibly profound movie, it hit the spot. Palindromes, in 2004, missed the spot, seeming random and pretentious.

Life in Wartime has the potential to be like Happiness, but is always teetering on the edge of being nothing-dressed-up-as-something, like Palindromes. In the end it is an interesting journey, but it never clicks up that notch necessary to make it profound.

In the end you feel that the journey was a waste of time.

Reviewed by Frank Spinelli 3 / 10

Highly Polished but Lackluster

Life During Wartime is Todd Solondz's highly polished but lackluster sequel to Happiness.

Now separated from her imprisoned, child molesting husband (Claran Hinds), Trish (Allison Janney) falls in love with the very normal Harvey Wiener (Michael Lerner) whom she plans on marrying so that her life can get back on track now that she's left New Jersey and began a fresh start in Miami. Meanwhile her sister Joy (Shirley Henderson) tries to escape her string of failed relationships by seeking refuge in Miami only to be haunted by ghosts of her past. Terrified she will end up like her sister and mother, Joy jets to Los Angeles to visit with her self absorbed, successful sister, Helen (Alley Sheedy), who offers her little hope of guidance because she is suffering from the crushing weight of her own success. Trish's husband is released from jail and sets out to reunite himself with his sons only to run into Charlotte Rampling in a bar one night for probably the most riveting and highly charged scene in which she quickly cuts to the chase and seduces him into a one night stand. In the end happiness is never achieved. Trish doesn't marry Harvey because Timmy misconstrues his affection for child molestation in what has to be the most unbelievable of the final acts.

Ultimately, Life During Wartime explores the themes of betrayal and forgiveness. Can Timmy forgive his father for being a pedophile as he forgave his mother for lying to him when she told him his father was dead? Timmy's quest for answers come as his Bar Mitzvah approaches. He asks his mother, are pedophiles terrorists? In response she asks, are you saying you would forgive the 911 terrorists? His answer, well, not those terrorists because they're dead.

Solondz is known for his quirky characters on the verge of an emotional breakdown however remaining completely detached from each other. Happiness remains the superior of the two films, although Life is more polished in its production. Perhaps that is what is missing. Happiness and Palindromes captured the rawness of movies made famous in the 1970's with similar musical overtones. In Life, Solondz feels more Hollywood, less Indie. Even the performances, although all are exceptional, miss the mark of their original actors, particularly Sheedy's, Helen and Henderson's, Joy.

I don't understand why Solondz made the sequel. New characters were created for no apparent reason and most are left to fade away off camera like some bad Greek tragedy. Missing is the dark humor he so brightly captured in the desperate interactions and inherent depression of its characters. The situations are not funny but drawn out and tedious, particularly the scene with Bill and his son in his college dorm.

I do commend Solondz for taking the chance with a new cast. Unfortunately, it is the material that pales the most in comparison.

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