White Noise

Director: Noah Baumbach
Year Released: 2022
Rating: 2.5

Professor Jack Gladney, who teaches Hitler Studies (despite not knowing how to speak German) at the College-on-the-Hill, runs off with his fourth wife Babette (Greta Gerwig) and their children after a chemical spill releases lethal cloud over their city; later on, Jack becomes increasingly concerned with Babette's abuse of an illegal drug called Dylar (to treat anxiety).  It's interesting that Baumbach chose to adapt this when he did: The Airborne Toxic Event is a metaphor for COVID-19 and the fevered discussion around the cult of personality (Elvis and Adolf!) and misinformation is a shot at the Extreme Right Wing of American politics (and the kooks on social media).  That said, the brilliance of Don DeLillo's book (which I personally think is among the best ever written about having a midlife crisis) doesn't translate so easily to the screen: Baumbach does a decent job at handling the snappy dialogue and absurd situations, but it still feels like a "shell" of the actual text ... which the teacher in me is imploring you to read (if you haven't already).  My favorite exchange, and one that sums up everything: "Sounds like a boring life."  "I hope it lasts forever."