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Review: Life During Wartime

Solondz's return to Happiness is — surprise! — really depressing
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 4, 2010
2.0 2.0 Stars

You can’t get enough Happiness — or so Todd Solondz must have thought when he spun off this sour sequel to his 1998 misanthropic ode to suburban perversion.

Shot mostly in a rancid yellow tint, the new film picks up on the lives of some of the misbegotten characters — pedophiles, sexual predators, passive-aggressive suicides, and the people who love them — of the previous one, with different actors (Shirley Henderson, Allison Janney, Michael Kenneth Williams, et al.), but relying on the same predictable black-comic twists to each entangled episode.

The theme this time is, no surprise, “sadness.” Oh, and also “forgiveness,” which rivals “Fuck you, you cunt!” for frequency. Shining in this dismal array is a scene between Charlotte Rampling and Ciáran Hinds, who radiate a misery and malignancy unmitigated by irony.

  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Entertainment, Michael Kenneth Williams,  More more >
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