Movie List
Loading ...
Find Theaters and Movie Times
Search Movies

Review: Declaration of War

A puzzler of a cancer drama
By ALICIA POTTER  |  February 16, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars

A baby with a brain tumor is no laughing matter. Yet it's hard not to hoot during this puzzler of a cancer drama — a surprising effect given that French writer/director Valérie Donzelli culls the story from her own life. On the other hand, such emotional dissonance may be what Donzelli, who also stars opposite former partner Jérémie Elkaïm, is gunning for. First clue: their onscreen alter egos are named Roméo and Juliette. Likewise, as the saga recounts the couple's evolution from carefree partiers to waiting-room regulars, Donzelli plays wildly with tone. The awful soundtrack, nonsensical voiceover, and music-video-style montages are bizarre, clumsy, and, well, funny. But these cinematic oddities (and one terrific toddler actor) lift the film above easy tears, and the outcome is never boring. Taken as an assault against self-pity and sentimentality, this War puts up an involving, and ultimately thought-provoking, fight.

Related: Review: The Women on the 6th Floor, Review: Monsieur Lazhar, Review: Chandni Chowk to China, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , Movie Reviews, Family, Cancer,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: FRIENDS WITH KIDS  |  March 08, 2012
    There are only so many baggy vagina jokes one can take. And writer/director Jennifer Westfeldt's disappointing film about how parenthood changes a Manhattan circle of friends has its share.
  •   REVIEW: DECLARATION OF WAR  |  February 16, 2012
    A baby with a brain tumor is no laughing matter.
  •   REVIEW: YOUNG ADULT  |  December 13, 2011
    A baby, a high school, and esoteric pop culture references once again figure prominently — albeit less glibly — in director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody's first re-teaming since Juno.
  •   REVIEW: A DOLPHIN TALE  |  September 20, 2011
    Winter the dolphin gamely plays herself in this loose re-telling of her fight for survival after a crab trap mangles her tail.
  •   REVIEW: AFRICAN CATS  |  April 25, 2011
    To their credit, directors Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey don't cut away from a downed gazelle or a hippo mid evisceration.

 See all articles by: ALICIA POTTER