Thursday, September 1, 2011

Polanski's "Carnage" looks brisk, crude and due cynical, although cast seems to deserve the major appraisal

"But the real battle in Roman Polanski's brisk, fitfully amusing adaptation of Yasmina Reza's popular play is a more formal clash between stage minimalism and screen naturalism, as this acid-drenched four-hander never shakes off a mannered, hermetic feel that consistently betrays its theatrical origins. Classy cast and pedigree should yield favorable specialty returns for the Sony Classics release, arriving Dec. 16 Stateside after its Venice and New York festival bows." (Justin Chang, Variety)

"s with his well-acted but somewhat embalmed 1994 adaptation of Ariel Dorfman’s “Death and the Maiden,” the director hasn’t broken a sweat trying to Polanskify material that speaks very much to his sensibilities in the first place — it’s not hard to imagine the beleaguered auteur filtering his own exasperation at the hypocrisies of the bourgeois moral police, however obliquely, through that of Reza." (Guy Lodge, In Contention, **1/2)

"he's right at home examining the venality of the human condition in the living room of the Brooklyn apartment that serves as the setting for Carnage. Snappy, nasty, deftly acted and perhaps the fastest paced film ever directed by a 78-year-old, this adaptation of Yasmina Reza's award-winning play God of Carnage fully delivers the laughs and savagery of the stage piece while entirely convincing as having been shot in New York, even though it was filmed in Paris for well-known reasons." (Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter)

"With this stealthy adaptation of the Yasmina Reza stage play, director Roman Polanski has rustled up a pitch-black farce of the charmless bourgeoisie that is indulgent, actorly and so unbearably tense I found myself gulping for air and praying for release. Hang on to your armrest and break out the scotch. These people are about to go off like Roman candles." (Xan Brooks, The Guardian, ****)

"Waltz, as the rudest man in the room, gets the best lines. It’s well-acted and giddily enjoyable, if slightly less so once the characters start to analyse their descent into barbarism." (David Gritten, The Telegraph ***)

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