The Squid and the Whale had some pretty nice dialogue and explored some interesting issues but holy crap is the shaky camera-work distracting. The natural lighting was nice and the shakiness was probably meant to compliment that to help create a natural, almost-"home video" sort of feel to it, as if you're just observing what's happening in the background, but in the end it just seems really cheap and tacky. It's alright in the still scenes but whenever anybody's moving or the camera tilts or pans, it just becomes really difficult not to get distracted by it. Or maybe I'm giving it too much credit and it just had a crappy budget so they hired cameramen that don't know how to keep their hands or shoulders still.
The children are interesting. Eisenberg's character's very impressionable and it reminds me a lot of me when I was younger and I'd just be a sponge for other people's ideas, talking about things I knew nothing about and managing to somehow sound knowledgeable in the process. The stuff that comes out of the younger kid's mouth is hilarious. Overall, pretty good.
The Squid and the Whale is based on Noah Baumbach's childhood experiences which tells the story of two boys dealing with the divorce of their parents.
Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney had strong performances. Jesse Eisenberg still have not truly surprised me until now but in this film I think he has a pretty effective performance. Owen Kline did a great job as his young brother too.
What this film tries to show is that divorce is tough, mostly when theres children involved. It's very realistic and sensitive.