He's Got A Lot On His Mind.
"The wonder of the film is how good it makes us feel. Greenberg scintillates with intelligence, razor's-edge humor and austere empathy for its struggling lovers. Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
|A new yorker moves to los angeles in order to figure out his life while he housesits for his brother, and he soon sparks with his brother's assistant.|
"Extraordinary. Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"Bittersweet and beautifully realized, harsh but humane, Greenberg is a self-consciously small film that nevertheless leaves an indelible mark. Nathan Rabin, The Onion A.V. Club
Hollywood meets the mumblecore indie movement in this film starring TROPIC THUNDER?s Ben Stiller and HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS? Greta Gerwig. Stiller plays Roger Greenberg, a man who falls for his brother?s assistant (Gerwig) while he is going through a life crisis. Directed by Noah Baumbach, GREENBERG also stars Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and mumblecore regular Mark Duplass.
Greenberg - DVD Review
By: Tall Writer
Published on: 9/29/2010 12:04 PM
|Ben Stiller stars as Roger Greenberg, a man who is staying in his brother’s house in Los Angeles after a stint in a New York mental hospital. His brother’s housekeeper, Florence, played by Greta Gerwig in a star-making role, finds a unique challenge as she oddly connects with this memorable character – an ideal role for Stiller. Noah Baumbach directs and co-produces his own unpredictable screenplay (from a story co-written with co-producer Jennifer Jason Leigh who also has a small part as Greenberg’s ex-girlfirend Beth)....read the full review
Cast & Crew
3 stars out of 5 -- "[D]irector/writer Noah Baumbach moves the whole shebang along at a brisk pace....The humor and the pathos shine through."
"[T]he psychological geography of GREENBERG is terrain Baumbach has been mapping in increasingly sharp relief since his 1995 debut KICKING AND SCREAMING..."
Wall Street Journal
"GREENBERG scintillates with intelligence, razor's edge humor and austere empathy for its struggling lovers."
"[F]or those looking for realistic, complex characters coping with believable emotional hurtles, this is an unexpected gem."
New York Times
"It is the funniest and saddest movie Mr. Baumbach has made so far, and also the riskiest."
3 stars out of 4 -- "Writer-director Noah Baumbach walks the fragile line between humor and heartbreak. Ben Stiller is exceptional..."
"[T]here is something undeniably compelling about the surgical precision with which the filmmaker picks at neuroses that feel very personal."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "This is an intriguing film, shifting directions, considering Greenberg's impossibility in one light and then another....What Ben Stiller does with the role is fascinating."
3 stars out of 4 -- "[A] quietly funny portrait of grown-ups growing up..."
4 stars out of 5 -- "GREENBERG is a groundbreaking performance for Stiller....The film comes with a fine soundtrack from LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy."
Sight and Sound
"GREENBERG is a great spectacle of toxic emotional stasis..."
4 stars out of 5 -- "Stiller expertly manages to eke out a small measure of sympathy from easily his most unpleasant character in years."
Chicago Sun-Times 9 of 10
When you're angry with the world and yourself to the same degree, you're running in place. It takes a great deal of energy. It can be exhausting. You lash out at people. You're hard on yourself. It all takes place in your head. After a time people give up on you. They think you don't give a damn and don't care about yourself. If they only knew...That's Roger Greenberg. I never knew who Ben Stiller was born to play, but now I do. I don't mean he is Greenberg, but that he makes him a convincing person and not a caricature. The hero of Noah Baumbach's new film was once, years ago, part of a rock band on the brink of a breakthrough. He walked away from it, stranding his band- mates, and never explained why. He fled Los Angeles and became a carpenter in New York...He's been struggling. There has been some sort of vague period in an institution. Now he's returned to L.A. to house-sit his brother's big home and look after the dog. He glares out of the windows like old man Fredricksen in Up. He can live alone no more successfully than with others. He calls Florence Marr (Greta Gerwig), his brother's family assistant, who knows where everything is and how everything works. And the dog knows her...He has a reunion with a former bandmate, Ivan (Rhys Ifans), a calm Brit, troubled by a trial separation, happy enough to see Greenberg and help him if he can. But Ivan is troubled that Greenberg still doesn't get it, doesn't understand how he crushed the dreams of his bandmates. Then there's Beth (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who Greenberg once loved and was loved by. She has moved on in her life. She has a family. Does he recognize the look a woman gets in her eyes when she's thinking how that just would have never, ever, worked out? Does he have enough self-knowledge to see how impossible he is?...The important relationship is the one between Greenberg and Florence. We look upon her and see wholesome health and abundant energy. She's happy when she has a purpose. She wishes she had a direction in life but can be happy enough in the moment. It's as if when Greenberg moves a little in the direction of happiness, it gets jealous because that draws attention away from his miserable uniqueness. People driven to be constantly unique can be a real pain in the ass...This is an intriguing film, shifting directions, considering Greenberg's impossibility in one light and then another. If he's stuck like this at 40, is he stuck for good? What Ben Stiller does with the role is fascinating. We can't stand Greenberg. But we begin to care about him. Without ever overtly evoking sympathy, Stiller inspires identification. You don't have to like the hero of a movie. But you have to understand him -- better than he does himself, in some cases.
- Roger Ebert