Carnage

Roman Polanski's Carnage, the film adaptation of Yasmina Reza's stage play "God of Carnage," is a feast for movie goers who enjoy watching people behaving badly. The film is a close, economical rendering of Reza's story of a pair of parents meeting in the home of the couple whose 11-year-old son was attacked by a schoolmate, the son of the other couple. Jodi Foster and John C. Reilly are the parents of the "victim," and Cate Winslet and Christoph Waltz are the parents of the child who Waltz early on describes as a "maniac." This character's admission introduces the theme that seems to underlie Reza's cynical treatment of contemporary America -- that entropy many of us feel or observe might be attributed to our general resignation, acceptance, of moral decay as the new world order. The boys' altercation -- which is shown during the opening credits -- isn't actually what this often howlingly funny film is about, a fact that is becomes increasingly apparent the more the couples drink, revealing poorly hidden animosities and disaffection. Polanski's direction of Carnage is sure and clean and the film is entertaining if you enjoy your meat blood red.

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