Life During Wartime

Ciáran Hinds in <em>Life During Wartime</em>
Count me among the great admirers of Todd Solondz’ Happiness. Some viewers complained that Solondz mocked his characters, but I never got that. As far as I could see, that was his achievement. Without passing judgment, he investigated the failures of some of the least among us — the failed songwriter, the unlucky in love — and dug out the humanity among the worst of us — the obscene phone caller, the pedophile. The result was an uneasy mix of tone. It wasn’t quite comedy and it wasn’t quite melodrama. You weren’t sure whether to be amused or appalled, and the fact that Solondz could elicit a horrified titter of recognition at some of the most base material showed that he kept the human in human behavior.

Continue reading