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Life During Wartime

Director:  Todd Solondz
Year Released:  2009
Rating:  1.0

"Sequel" of sorts of Solondz's inexplicably successful 1998 picture Happiness takes some of the same characters from that - three crazy sisters and a pedophile - and places them back into a world of misery. I found Happiness to be a noxious exercise in perverse morality - and Solondz is, above all, a supreme moralist - and this to be much of the same: no one seems to learn much from the experiences in their own lives and the 'lucky few' damaged people escape via suicide (Paul Reubens, Michael Kenneth Williams, Ciarán Hinds). There's a quick, powerful moment that takes place between Hinds' out-of-jail and despondent character and a promiscuous woman he meets in a hotel (Charlotte Rampling) that seems like that it was pulled out of a more mature movie before it quickly returns to its world of pettiness and condescension.

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