Film Review: Infinitely Polar Bear

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Infinitely Polar Bear is a film about a family in which Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana play Cam and Maggie, a couple who met in the late ’60s. By the time 1978 rolls around, they have two daughters and are separating due to Cam’s inability to deal with his bipolar manic depression. When Maggie gets accepted to an MBA program at Columbia University, she knows that she cannot afford to move she and her two daughters out of Boston to New York so she opts to let Cam take care of them full time while she visits on the weekends. Freshly out of treatment for a mental breakdown, Cam takes on the seemingly insurmountable task of child rearing and household chores so that he can prove himself to be a good father and husband.

Written and directed by Maya Forbes, Infinitely Polar Bear is a great film for a first time director. The characters all feel fleshed out while the dialogue is quick and witty without feeling like someone attempting to be funny. The overall direction of the film is consistent throughout with a great balance between the funny moments and the emotional ones. Ruffalo’s performance as Cam is strong and his character can be so eccentric that at times it seems as if someone took a character from a Wes Anderson film and dropped him into a real and dramatic situation. All this while Zoe Saldana and the two child actresses turn in equally impressive performances with no noticeable weak link in the core cast.

Infinitely Polar Bear is a great piece of quirky dramatic filmmaking that reminds me of the indie film boom of the mid to late ’90s. Check it out for yourself and see if you can spot some local locales since Infinitely Polar Bear was shot around Rhode Island. Infinitely Polar Bear opens at The Cable Car Cinema on Friday, July 17.

Infinitely Polar Bear (2014); Director: Maya Forbes; Starring: Zoey Saldana, Mark Ruffalo, Imogene Wolodarsky, and Ashley Aufderheide

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