The Squid and the Whale

Synopsis: In 1986, In Brooklyn, New York, the dysfunctional family of pseudo intellectuals composed by the university professor Bernard and the prominent writer Joan split. Bernard is a selfish, cheap and jealous decadent writer that rationalizes every attitude in his family and life and does not accept "philistines" - people that do not read books or watch movies, while the unfaithful Joan is growing as a writer and has no problems with "philistines". Their sons, the teenager Walt and the boy Frank, feel the separation and take side: Walt stays with Bernard, and Frank with Joan, and both are affected with abnormal behaviors. Frank drinks booze and smears with sperm the books in the library and a locker in the dress room of his school. The messed-up and insecure Walt uses Roger Water's song "Hey You" in a festival as if it was of his own, and breaks up with his girlfriend Sophie. Meanwhile Joan has an affair with Frank's tennis teacher Ivan and Bernard with his student Lili.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Noah Baumbach
Production: Samuel Goldwyn Films
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 23 wins & 47 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
81 min

tomorrow after school?

- Yeah.

- Could I come?

You have tennis. You're gonna be

doing that, which is its own thing.

- Look how young Dad looks.

- That's funny. Dad, can I have this?

- Okay.

- Would you write something in it?


"I absorb sex indiscriminately,

numb and impartial.

I suck men of their interiors.

A f*ck that unites John, Dan, Scott, whomever... the popular lust

and paternal hunt for my possession.

He was a large man, though his arms were thin.

The upper part soft, but not fleshy.

Like a young woman's.

He had long, delicate fingers and

plump palms similar to a raccoon's.

With finesse, he plied the meat

from a crab claw...

...and sucked oysters

from their shells."

She's a very risky writer, Lili.

Very racy.

I mean, exhibiting her cunt

in that fashion is very racy.

Lili has her influences in postmodern

literature, a bit derivative of Kafka.

But for a student, very racy.

- Did you get that it was her cunt?

- Oh, yeah.

- Did you like it?

- Yeah. A lot.

You'd like Kafka, one of my predecessors.

- Particularly The Metamorphosis.

- Metamorphosis?

No fucking spaces.

- I'll keep you company while we look.

- Thank you.

Dad, what were your wives like before Mom?

"Wife," really.

The first one was annulled.

- I was 1 9.

- What was she like?

- The annulled one?

- No, the one you'd call a wife.


That's Mom.

Yeah, that's Mom.

What was she wearing?

No, I guess I've seen that before.

What are you writing?

I'm working on the Peugeot story.

Did you take my note about the ending?

- Some of it.

- Does he still die?

- Yeah.

- Then you didn't take my note.

Boys, make sure you come home

right after school.

- Why?

- We're having a family conference.

- What's that?

- A talk. Just come home.

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Noah Baumbach

Noah Baumbach is an American independent filmmaker. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Squid and the Whale and is known for making dramatic comedies. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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