Happiness (1998)

TODD SOLONDZ

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

USA, 1998Good Machine, Killer Films.  Screenplay by Todd Solondz.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by . Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Excellent drama that examines three sisters as they survive the hellhole life that is to be had in New Jersey.  is the unwittingly optimistic woman who goes from one temp job to another, constantly being undone by her faith in humanity;  is a hugely successful writer who feels like she’s cheating the world by writing about difficult feminine issues that have never actually come her way;  is the happily married woman who believes she has it all (and readily says so) when she has no idea that her psychiatrist husband () is doping up little boys to have sex with them. The cast is uniformly brilliant, with Baker standing out as a man you’ll try to hate but just can’t, and as the girls’ mother who is having marital troubles of her own.

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Screenplay

Toronto International Film Festival:  1998

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