Sunday, February 2 2014, 02:20 PM MST
Sundance 2014: Infinitely Polar Bear
4 out of 5 Stars
Director: Maya Forbes
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, Ashley Aufderheide
Category: U.S. Dramatic
Recommended to: Those looking for a frank, but often funny, look at how mental illness can impact a family.
Synopsis: Following a nervous breakdown that leaves Cameron Stuart (Mark Ruffalo) unemployable his wife, Maggie (Zoe Saldana), decides to go back to school and nervously leaves him to take care of their two children.
Review: The strength of director/writer Maya Forbes’ film is its honesty. Inspired by her own experiences Infinitely Polar Bear is both funny and heartbreaking, much like its central character Cameron. At its core the film is a love story and how a family pressed with challenges fights to stay together. I found Mark Ruggalo’s performance to be quite engaging. He’s probably a little more eccentric than your average bipolar father, but even if he is exaggerated there’s something about the acting that feels true. The Sundance Film Festival is a great place to discover fresh and young faces and child actors Imogene Wolodarsky and Ashley Aufderheide are perfect examples of actresses with bright futures in front of them. Down the line it will be interesting to see if Forbes can be as successful when dealing with less personal material.
-Ryan Michael Painter