The video: In Carnage, Oscar winners Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, and Jodie Foster — along with Oscar nominee John C. Reilly —play parents who gather in one couple's Brooklyn home to diplomatically discuss the aftermath of a schoolyard fight between their sons. Civility, however, quickly devolves into guttural rage, screaming matches, drunken bickering, and childish insults. The "diabolically hilarious" trailer for the film, which is based on the 2009 Tony Award-winning play God of Carnage and is directed by Roman Polanski, was released over the weekend. (Watch it below.) Given the amount of intense emotional drama, physically-demanding comedy, and fiery verbal warfare, Oscarologists already have a keen eye on Carnage, which is set to be released Dec. 16.
The reaction: It's "Oscar winners go wild," says Sandy Schaefer at Screen Rant. Watching four gifted actors transition from posh to juvenile — at the hand of Polanski's direction, no less — looks to be "flat-out entertaining." Foster and Winslet, especially, look like they're having a blast "playing 'perfect' wives who finally begin to unravel at the seams." Sure, the film appears to be as delightfully "claustrophobic" as the hit stage production, says Kyle Buchanan at New York. But these high-pedigree actors "seem to be pitching their performances to the cheap seats." They might as well call it Winslet Goes Wild. Judge for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Why China thinks it could defeat the U.S. in battle
- 10 things you need to know today: August 20, 2014
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- What you need to know before you support the police in Ferguson
- What the 'death of the library' means for the future of books
- Welcome to the age of ambivalent feminism
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The real lesson of Rick Perry's mug shot
- Why your employer should clean your house and do your laundry
Subscribe to the Week