The Squid And The Whale

One of the great things about running a site like this is getting to read about some of the upcoming projects and finding a potential jewel in the cesspool of muck that usually emanates out of movie projectors. You see a teaming that makes you go “About freakin time” and gives you a little hope for something in the future.

This September in New York, Wes Anderson will flex his muscles as the producer for Noah Baumbach’s latest, The Squid and the Whale. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Baumbach, he’s the filmmaker who made his debut with the twentysomething dramedy Kicking and Screaming several years ago, one of the better films of the genre. This time, Baumbach chronicles the experiences of two brothers surviving a dysfunctional and eccentric New York city family.

Frank, at 12, is the younger brother. Highly verbal and advanced in certain ways, but emotionally stunted. He spends a lot of time alone. While quick and lively, he is also vulnerable. An offbeat and unique child.

Walt is Frank’s sixteen year old brother. Frank is young looking, but intellectually mature. Attractive, but not too much so. An articulate and funny teenager.

Some of the kids Frank and Walt deal with include:

Sophie: 17 years old. She’ll probably be pretty in a few years, but hasn’t quite grown into her looks yet. She’s smart, likes what she likes, and is well behaved.

Lance: 16 years old. Friend of Walt’s. A wise ass, confident young guy. He’s the coolest of Walt’s friends.

Jeffrey: 16 years old. Friend of Walt. Lives in his own head a bit. On the “coolness” meter of this group of four friends, is right in the middle. (Casting notes show Jeffrey could be cast “non-traditionally” as well as Caucasian).

Otto: 16 years old. The least cool of the group, a bit offbeat looking, slightly on the heavier side. A victim of the “loser detector” in teen politics.

Kate: 16, and has been pretty all her life.

Carl: 12 years old. Frank’s best friend. He lives kind of in his own head, too.

Susan & Lara: Both 16 years old, they’re Lance and Jeffrey’s girlfriends> (Casting notes show both are “maybe a bit Jappy”. I suspect they mean Jewish American Princess, but since I didn’t write the damn synopsis, I can’t say for certain.)

Casting for the adult roles will begin closer to the shoot date, as the filmmakers wish to spend time working the dynamics of the younger kids out first.

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