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:: Carnage

Every film lover has an opinion on director, Roman Polanski, but no matter what you think of his personal life you can’t say that he isn’t a brilliant film maker. Just to prove it along comes his new film, Carnage which is nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece.

Based on the award-winning play by Yasmina Reza Carnage looks at the aftermath of what happens after Zachary Cowan (Elvis Polanski) strikes his classmate, Ethan Longstreet (Eliot Berger) in the face with a stick during a playground altercation. Zachary’s parents Alan (Christoph Waltz) and Nancy (Kate Winslet) go to the home of Ethan’s parents, Michael (John C. Reilly) and Penelope (Jodie Foster) in a bid to discuss what should be done about the matter. Agreements are made and accusations fly, as does the projectile vomit at times, and while both sets of parents are determined to get an outcome they just can’t come to a final solution and the whole meeting turns into a debacle.

Polanski doesn’t attempt to do too much with Carnage. He films it like a play, in the cofounds of the Longstreet home and he smartly lets the dialogue lead the way. Lovers of action will be turned off by Carnage because it literally lets the dialogue do the talking. Luckily, Reza’s script holds up on the big screen and with some immaculate timing Carnage ends up calling on all the things that made films such as Who’s Afraid Of Virgina Woolfe? and Twelve Angry Men such classics.

Also adding to Carnage is some some sensational acting. Kate Winslet in terrific and as you would expect Waltz and Foster are at the top their games. What will come as a surprise to some (but not to those who have seen Terri and We Need To Talk About Kevin) is that John C. Reilly holds his own. Over the last two years Reilly has chosen roles that cement him amongst the best dramatic actors around at the moment, and that trend continues here. He is no longer that comedic actor who seemed to always choose dodgy roles.

Carnage is a sensational watch for the serious movie goer. Great dialogue and brilliant acting make this an absolute gem.