Getting excited about “Greenberg”

Noah Baumbach’s “Greenberg” is coming to Sundance Cinemas in two weeks (3/26), but it’s never too early to begin conjuring hype, right? Here’s Glenn Kenny’s very enthusiastic response, which says to me that the film is likely everything I hoped it would be.


But because this really is a picture of moments, and a lot of them are still coalescing in me. My initial sense is that these moments are presented as well if not a little better than they’ve ever been in a Baumbach picture, and that hence, Greenberg is very much worth your time.

I counted Baumbach’s “Margot at the Wedding” (2007) among my 50 favorite films of the past decade, so I fully expect “Greenberg” to be a really sad gem.

There’s a pretty clear-cut division in “The Squid and the Whale” (2005) between its sympathetic characters and their utterly unsympathetic counterparts, which made the movie kinda facile insofar as it wasn’t very difficult for the viewer to make up her mind about who was in the wrong in any of the plot’s constituent blowups. “Margot at the Wedding” was a much more indeterminate object, a stubborn work that demanded a great deal of investment from the viewer in exchange for wonderfully obscure dividends. Jean Eustache’s “The Mother and the Whore” (1973) was a central point of reference for “The Squid and the Whale”; wouldn’t it be something if Baumbach reached similar emotional territory with “Greenberg”?


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