January 13th, 2012 by Donna White
“Carnage” opens in a park with a group of kids taunting one lone boy who walks ahead, trying to get away from them. He takes their crap for a bit, then picks up a stick and swipes the leader of the pack in the face with it. Cut to:
Four tight-jawed parents are crammed awkwardly in a home office awaiting the final printing of a document they’ve agreed upon, which puts the responsibility of the incident squarely on the stick-bearing boy, and leaves the bully blameless. The elephant in the room being that this is the most expedient way to avoid a lawsuit.
The mother of said stick-bearer is played by Kate Winslet, who is ever so apologetic and says all the right things with such precision and care as to make it abundantly clear they were rehearsed, probably in the car on the way over with her spouse (Christoph Waltz), who has a harder time concealing his contempt for these proceedings. Jodie Foster plays the mother of the boy who was struck in the face, an unbearably strident woman who takes every opportunity to blow the incident out of proportion while her affable husband (John C. Reilly) goes out of his way to smooth things over with his aw-shucks good-natured demeanor.
What follows is an afternoon of tea and crumpets (so to speak) that devolves in ways I wouldn’t dare give away. Suffice to say the following: you’ve never seen Kate Winslet do THAT before. Read the rest of this entry »