Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Squid and the Whale


Bad title, great film. The squid and whale is a famous life-size diorama in the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and it has great symbolic significance to this story, but the story is about a bad ongoing divorce and the effect of narcissism (mostly the father’s) on the two young boys in the family. A better title might have sold more tickets. These are Woody Allen people, whip smart, educated to a fare-thee-well, and unequipped to deal with the messiness of life. But the film achieves an edge that has been lacking in Woody’s films lately. I think you might have to go as far back as Hannah and her Sisters to find an Allen film as sharply observed as this one. And it is a minor miracle that it is all done in about 80 minutes. Most of the scenes are very short, and the script cuts them right down to the meat, then to the bone, and we move on quickly. Highly recommended.