Best Film That No One Saw: The Squid and the Whale

Of all the films that people ignored this year, the best one had to be “The Squid and the Whale.” So dense, “Squid” bolstered a roster of acting pedigree — even a Baldwin brother made an appearance, and not even the good one. The star of this film is the youthful Jesse Eisenberg. There’s something about a young neurotic Jew that captures New York intellectual elitism so well — a guy named Woody rings a bell — and Eisenberg gets the snobbery just right. Laura Linney and Jeff Daniels craft downright wholesome parents (well, kind of) and the younger brother played by Owen Kline is going through those hormonal changes a little too early.

But the real story behind this cinematic gem is writer/director Noah Baumbach’s script. Taking cues from his childhood, Baumbach sprinkles in the perfect amounts of familial angst and regret with such biting humor and sadness, your own family looks exceptional in comparison. These people may not be the most fitting to have at a dinner party — their book smarts and well-read minds may squash the light chatter — but the insight into their social ineptness makes for some interesting film-watching. It’s easy to see why so many skipped over this brash take on family life. However, they’ve missed out on a world of pain and pleasure.