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Genre: Comedy, Drama Country: France, Germany, Poland, Spain
IMDB Rating: 7.2/10 Released Date: 18 Nov 2011
Runtime: 80 min Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly,

Summery: In Brooklyn Bridge Park, eleven year old Zachary Cowan strikes his eleven year old classmate Ethan Longstreet across the face with a stick after an argument. Among the more serious of Ethan's injuries is a permanently missing tooth and the possibility of a second tooth also being lost. Their respective parents learn of the altercation through Ethan's parents questioning him about his injuries. The Longstreet parents invite the Cowan parents to their Brooklyn apartment to deal with the incident in a civilized manner. They are: Penelope Longstreet, whose idea it was to invite the Cowans, she whose priorities in life include human rights and justice; Michael Longstreet, who tries to be as accommodating as possible to retain civility in any situation; Nancy Cowan, a nervous and emotionally stressed woman; and Alan Cowan, who is married more to his work as evidenced by the attachment he has to his cell phone and taking work calls at the most inopportune times. Although the meeting starts off civilized enough, it quickly degenerates after an unfortunate incident by Nancy. The degeneration of their meeting not only has to do with their boys' fight, but also the other couple's fitness as parents, the state of their respective marriages and their place in a crazy world.


Roman Polanski's "Carnage" involves time spent by two married couples in a luxurious Manhattan condo, as afternoon fades into evening. The film is very well named. We have seen this dramatic trajectory before, where smooth politeness relentlessly erodes into foul-mouthed imprecations, but anyway, the point isn't the plot, it's the performances. This is not a particularly memorable film, but Polanski brings a great deal of skill to its staging, and it looks as if the actors enjoy themselves. It's not every 79-minute movie that allows all four characters to hurdle through a full gamut of emotions. The message, if any, is that good manners are often skin deep, that compassion and forgiveness are hard to come by, and that when it comes down to your son and my son, I'm going to consider my son in the right, and yours, well, possibly, a homicidal maniac.