Dir: Noah Baumbach | Scr: Noah Baumbach | Story: Jennifer Jason Leigh & Noah Baumbach | Ph: Harris Savides | Prod: Jennifer Jason Leigh & Scott Rudin | Mus: James Murphy | Ed: Tim Streeto | PD: Ford Wheeler | AD: Curt Beech | Snd: Paul Hsu | Cast: Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mark Duplass, Chris Messina, Brie Larson, Juno Temple
Fresh from a brief spell in a psychiatric hospital, a 41-year-old musician-turned-carpenter spends a few weeks house-sitting for his Vietnam-bound brother and family. Determined to do just nothing for a while, he spends his time building a house for their ailing dog, sort of dating his brother’s 26-year-old assistant, and looking up old friends (and indeed flames). However, with him being decidedly troubled emotionally, and for that matter everyone around him (but for his bubbly 20-year-old niece and friends) being somewhat psychologically delicate, or at the very least rather life-wearied, things run anything but smoothly. Discreet direction, astute writing, and convincing performances combine to almost painful effect in this gently witty and quietly affecting if vaguely depressing though oft sublime comedy-drama.