The Independent asks, “Why is director Todd Solondz returning to the film that nearly destroyed his career?”
Happiness won the critics’ prize in Cannes and earnt a Golden Globe nomination for Best Screenplay ‚Äì remarkable when you consider its main talking-point was Solondz’s sympathetic portrait of a paedophile (Dylan Baker). And if you ever wondered what happened to him and the film’s roster of screwed-up characters, Life During Wartime catches up with them 10 years on. But don’t expect to see Baker, or Jane Adams, Lara Flynn Boyle and Cynthia Stevenson as the dysfunctional three sisters at the heart of the story.Solondz has recast the entire film, often daringly.
…He admits it would have been “a nightmare logistically” to reassemble the old cast, but it was primarily an artistic decision. “For me, it just felt much fresher. Audiences are smart. You want them to think they know where we’re going and then come at them from another angle.”
But this is a close as the interview comes to answering its own headline question:
The film may originally have been titled Forgiveness, but Solondz provides no easy path to redemption. “These are characters with troubles and struggles and that’s what makes it compelling for me,” he argues. “You have to have a struggle.”
…With its cast overhaul, Life During Wartime could easily be read as a study of how we all tend to reinvent our own identities over time…
Thanks to Guy Lodge for bringing this new UK trailer to our attention; likewise the poster after the cut.
“What? Me worry?”
The French version comes with a red tulip.