Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
The story of psychologist William Moulton Marston, the polyamorous relationship between his wife and his mistress, the creation of his beloved comic book character Wonder Woman, and the controversy the comic generated.
A veteran tracker with the Fish and Wildlife Service helps to investigate the murder of a young Native American woman, and uses the case as a means of seeking redemption for an earlier act of irresponsibility which ended in tragedy.
In those three words, the titular character's wife succinctly parses his midlife crisis: Brad (Ben Stiller) needs to smell the roses, to see that what he has in his upper-middle class comfort is more than most could hope for. Brad's Status is a text book exposition of a man's midlife crisis at 47 years old.
It's not a pretty sight when he embarrasses his brainy son, Troy (Austin Abrams), at a Harvard interview opportunity by pushing too hard with the admissions staff. Besides that obnoxious parent-at-interview motif, which I have witnessed as a Georgetown alumni interviewer, Brad is struggling, mostly in voice-over narration, with an unhealthy envy of his buddies who have entered into the 1% of fame and wealth.
A Tufts grad that started his own non-profit, Brad needs a jolt to realize how good his life really is. Buds like noted author and TV star Craig (Michael Sheen0 prove to have their own issues that don't show up in the media. Too obvious a compensation from writer/director Mike White, nonetheless it is axiomatic that "the grass is greener on the other side." Will Brad learn this lesson after thinking about his accomplished wife and son? You can pretty much guess.
Although I could not sympathize with Stiller's previously solipsistic hero in Greenberg, his Brad makes mid-life sense to me as he gains our sympathy over his self-centered obsessions. Xavier Grobet's cinematography, focused as it is on close ups of Brad, does very little else to further visually this universal experience, and generally none of the shots are as remarkable as the simple takes of the two coeds' classical playing in the orchestra.
Stiller should be nominated; no recent actor has shown such authentic anguish at that certain time of life when you can accept the goodness of the life you have led or drive yourself into an unpleasant status.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?