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Laura Blum

Laura is a festival correspondent covering films and the festival circuit for She also publishes on Thalo



“The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” at the 55th New York Film Festival

Does anyone in your family listen? The folks in The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) sure don’t. And they’re not the only ones to switch off. The scene cuts often stop them at mid-sentence, inviting bemused viewers to absorb the jolt. In his winning new picture, director Noah Baumbach elevates rudeness to an art with the aid of sharp dialogue and edits.

The household he surveys contains Millennials and aging Gen-Xers along with Dustin Hoffman’s 70-something patriarch. From here it’s a pitch-perfect crunching of clan history and its lingering effects. Baumbach has explored similar turf in his domestic samplers The Squid and the Whale—which he considers the seed of The Meyerowitz Stories--and Margot at the WeddingThis latest effort puts over a more sobering portrait of dysfunction than his springier films GreenbergFrances Ha, While We’re Young and Mistress AmericaThere are liberal sprinklings of humor, but the meat of the picture is the psychological warfare waged by family members and how battle scars can remain long after the combattants exit the trenches.

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