Review by Harriet Robbins
Director Noah Baumbach has infused GREENBERG with a lot of heart and truth.
GREENBERG is a small film about a big question: how can we get the most out of our lives?
In today's social climate it is especially important to stop and think about where we are going and what we really want. Can we achieve our goals even if mistakes have been made? Can we mend the broken past and enjoy a more meaningful future?
It's in this context that we meet Greenberg (Ben Stiller). He hasn't done very well recently; having suffered from a nervous breakdown, he returns to his home base, Los Angeles, to recuperate and house-sit for his brother, who has gone on vacation with his family.
Stiller gives an amazing performance. While still struggling with his demons, he meets old friends and brings out the truth of their relationships, warts and all.
These lessons of life often go unheeded in today's chaotic world, where despair and dashed dreams abound. It's good to see a film that not only makes sense but says, "Yes, there is a hopeful future if one chooses to seek it."
GREENBERG'S excellent cast also includes Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rhys Ifans.
The Focus Spolight feature deals with reality, but in a hopeful and buoyant way. It's never too late, the film says, to learn new things and to enjoy one's own gifts and purpose.