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Carnage (2011)

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Two pairs of parents hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, though as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behavior throws the discussion into chaos.

Director:

Roman Polanski

Writers:

Yasmina Reza (play), Yasmina Reza (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,773 ( 285)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 7 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Jodie Foster ... Penelope Longstreet
Kate Winslet ... Nancy Cowan
Christoph Waltz ... Alan Cowan
John C. Reilly ... Michael Longstreet
Elvis Polanski Elvis Polanski ... Zachary Cowan
Eliot Berger Eliot Berger ... Ethan Longstreet
Joseph Rezwin Joseph Rezwin ... Walter (voice) (as Joe Rezwin)
Nathan Rippy ... Dennis (voice)
Tanya Lopert Tanya Lopert ... Michael's Mother (Telephone Voice) (voice)
Julie Adams ... Secretary (voice)
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Storyline

In New York's Brooklyn Bridge park, eleven year old Zachary strikes his eleven year old classmate Ethan. The boy's parents learn of the fight and meet to deal with the incident. Although the meeting starts civilized, it quickly degenerates after an unfortunate incident, and soon, their meeting is not only about their boys' fight, but also the couple's fitness as parents, Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A new comedy of no manners.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

France | Germany | Poland | Spain | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 2011 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

God of Carnage See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$79,795, 18 December 2011

Gross USA:

$2,547,047

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,603,069
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roman Polanski: The neighbor who opens the door to take a look at what is happening in the hallway. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, just before Alan and Nancy try to leave for the second time, there is a camera visible in the mirror. See more »

Quotes

Michael Longstreet: What happened to your sense of humor?
Penelope Longstreet: I don't have a sense of humor and I don't want one!
See more »


Soundtracks

A Bushel and a Peck
Written by Frank Loesser
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An interesting film, but I expected more from it
21 April 2012 | by ArgemalucoSee all my reviews

Roman Polanski, along with other audacious directors such as Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, was part of the "new school" which changed the face of commercial cinema during the '70s, leaving behind the retrograde moralist and edifying schemes the industry had been dragging from the '50s, when the famous Hays Code severely censored the "indecency" in cinema. However, at the difference of Coppola and Scorsese, Polanski seems to have improved with the age (leaving aside the misstep he had with Oliver Twist), because even though some of his classic films keep undeniably being very interesting (The Tenant, The Fearless Vampire Killers), I think his modern films offer a wider spectrum of artistic and narrative attributes. In other words, I think Polanski is living his best creative period, as it has been proved by the films The Ninth Gate, The Pianist and The Ghost Writer. That's the reason why I was very interested in watching Carnage, his most recent film; however, even though it ended up being an interesting experience, I didn't find it very memorable, and it's definitely very far from being among Polanski's best films.

Even if it hadn't been mentioned during the initial credits, the fact that Carnage is based on a play would have been obvious. With the exception of the prologue and the epilogue, the whole film is developed in only one location, and it basically relies on the dialogs and the performances. On some way, Carnage is a filmed play, and as a consequence, it's difficult to appreciate Polanski's hand; but anyway...even without his characteristic atmosphere and visual style, the film is entertaining despite feeling a bit affected and pretentious. In this kind of minimalistic stories, we frequently see the structural simplicity compensated by over the top drama, because instead of looking for a visual deployment, the focus is on the evolution (or "de-evolution") of the characters, something which was exactly the point of Carnage. The result in here is competent, even though I occasionally found it superficial and not very credible. The conflict between the two couples begins on a realistic way, but its staggering is too quick and obviously designed to make a contrast between their moral values. And when the ending came, I felt the fact that too many things were left up in the air.

However, I can't deny that the performances from Carnage are magnificent. Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly are absolutely perfect as the liberal and progressive middle-aged couple, so "politically correct" that they run the risk of becoming caricatures. Meanwhile, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz are brilliant as a wealthy, but accessible and casual couple.

Even though it didn't leave me completely satisfied, I can bring a moderate recommendation to Carnage as a competent film with excellent performances and an interesting story.


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