Infinitely Polar Bear
Release Year: 2014
Director: Maya Forbes
Writer: Maya Forbes
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, Ashley Aufderheide,
Rating: Nominated for 1 Golden Globe: Best Actor – Comedy or Musical (Mark Ruffalo).
A manic-depressive father (Mark Ruffalo) tries to win back his wife after a breakdown and agrees to take care of his two spirited daughters while their mother take a degree in New York to improve her job opportunities.
From time to time a new writer/director blasts his or her way onto the screen with a movie gem; this is one of those times. Maya Forbes (The Polka King, 2017), a former TV producer, has written and directed a charming film based on her own chaotic 1970s childhood with a manic-depressive father. The father in question, Cam, is played by Mark Ruffalo at the top of his game. Ruffalo (Shutter Island, 2010) is perhaps not totally believable as an eccentric member of the old east coast elite (in this case a fictionalised version of the Forbes family), but he sells the character completely with a warm, fun, and charming performance, making good use of his ability to combine disarming charm with infantile antics. Zoe Saldana (Avatar, 2009) is equally convincing as the woman who does not realise the consequences of Cam’s illness until it’s, in a sense, too late. However, great love and affection is put into the depiction of their relationship which cool realistically overtime while remaining loving. But the two girls (Imogene Wolodarsky and Ashley Aufderheide) are in no way overshadowed by Ruffalo and Saldana, they are feisty, spirited, fun, and completely believable. The director obviously has a lot of herself invested in the film and it pays off. Infinitely Polar Bear is a gem of a movie, a fun and touching film about a chaotic and troubled, yet loving childhood and the power family has to cure or endure any bump along the way. Highly recommended.
The director’s daughter Imogene Wolodarsky plays the character based on her own mother.
Picture Copyright: Sony