Set in Brooklyn in 1986, THE SQUID AND THE WHALE captures with extraordinary immediacy the inner workings of the Berkman family. Bernard (Jeff Daniels), a once successful novelist, and his wife Joan (Laura Linney), an up-and-coming writer, have given up on their marriage. Their two sons Walt (Jesse Eisenberg), 16, and Frank (Owen Kline), 12, are left to grapple with their confusing and conflicted feelings. The experience is a tender, funny and ultimately moving coming of age for Walt and a tortuously premature one for Frank. The emotional tensions and strains that emerge during this difficult period for the Berkmans are given a remarkably subtle and nuanced portrayal. This is a film that deftly presents the realties of a family in transition learning to redefine itself.

  • 1 hr 21 minRHDSD
  • Oct 5, 2005
  • Drama

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Cast & Crew

  • Jeff DanielsActor

    Actor Jeff Daniels was born in Athens, Georgia, but was raised in Chelsea, Michigan. He is the son of Marjorie J. (Ferguson) and Robert Lee Daniels, who owned The Chelsea Lumber Company and was also mayor of Chelsea. Jeff attended Central Michigan University, but became involved in acting and dropped out to pursue a career as an actor. Daniels made his feature film debut in Milos Forman's Ragtime (1981). Daniels went on to prove himself to be one of Hollywood's most reliable and versatile actors with roles in successes such as Terms of Endearment (1983), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Something Wild (1986), Arachnophobia (1990), Dumb and Dumber (1994), Pleasantville (1998), The Hours (2002) and Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005), to name a few. Alongside screen work, Daniels has many stage credits to his name and is the founder of The Purple Rose Theater Company in Chelsea, Michigan. He is also a musician and songwriter and has recorded two albums. Daniels is married to his childhood sweetheart, Kathleen Treado and they have three children.
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  • Laura LinneyActor

    Laura Leggett Linney was born in New York City on February 5, 1964, into a theatre family. Her father was prominent playwright Romulus Linney, whose own great-grandfather was a congressman from North Carolina. Her mother, Miriam Anderson (Leggett), is a nurse. Although she did not live in her father's house (her parents having divorced when she was an infant), Linney's world revolved, in part, around his profession from the earliest age. She graduated from Brown University in 1986 and studied acting at Juilliard and the Arts Theatre School in Moscow and, thereafter, embarked on a career on the Broadway stage receiving favorable notices for her work in such plays as "Hedda Gabler" and "Six Degrees of Separation". Linney's film career began in the early 1990s with small roles in Lorenzo's Oil (1992) and Dave (1993). She landed the role of Mary Anne Singleton in the PBS film adaptations of Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" series, playing her in Tales of the City (1993), More Tales of the City (1998) and Further Tales of the City (2001). Linney's first substantial big-screen role was as the ex-girlfriend of Richard Gere's character in Primal Fear (1996) and her superb performance brought her praise and a better selection of roles. Clint Eastwood chose Linney to play his daughter, another prominent role, in 1997's Absolute Power (1997), followed by another second billing in the following year's The Truman Show (1998). Always a strong performer, Linney truly came into her own after 2000, starting the decade auspiciously with her widely-praised, arguably flawless performance in You Can Count on Me (2000). She found herself nominated for an Academy Award for this, her first lead role, for which her salary had been $10,000. Linney won numerous critics' awards for her role as Sammy, a single mother whose life is complicated by a new boss and the arrival in town of her aimless brother. On the heels of this success came her marvelous turn as Bertha Dorset in The House of Mirth (2000), clearly the best performance in a film of strong performances. Since then, Linney has frequently been offered challenging dramatic roles, and always rises to the occasion, such as in Mystic River (2003) and Kinsey (2004), for which she received another Academy Award nomination.
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  • Alexandra DaddarioActor

    Alexandra Anna Daddario was born on March 16, 1986 in New York City, New York, to Christina, a lawyer, and Richard Daddario, a prosecutor. Her brother is actor Matthew Daddario, her sister is actor Catharine Daddario, and her grandfather was congressman Emilio Daddario (Emilio Q. Daddario), of Connecticut. She has Italian, Irish, Hungarian/Slovak ancestry. She wanted to be an actress when she was young. Her first job came at age 16, when she got the role of "Laurie Lewis" on All My Children (1970). Alex co-starred, with Logan Lerman and Brandon T. Jackson, in the role of Annabeth Chase in the Percy Jackson movies, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013), which were based on Rick Riordan's best-selling teen books. At the end of 2012, Alex starred in the music video, Imagine Dragons's "Radioactive". Alexandra became more known in the 2010s, as she starred as Blake Gaines in earthquake film San Andreas (2015), alongside Dwayne Johnson, and in the films Hall Pass (2011), Texas Chainsaw (2013), and Baywatch (2017). She has appeared on many TV series, including White Collar (2009), It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005), and American Horror Story (2011): Hotel. In 2014, Daddario gained attention for her role on the first season of the HBO series, True Detective (2014).
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  • Anna PaquinActor

    Anna Paquin is the first millennial to have received an Academy Award nomination for acting, and the first to win. She was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 1982, to Mary (Brophy), an English teacher from Wellington, New Zealand, and Brian Paquin, a Canadian phys-ed teacher. Anna moved to her mother's native country when she was four years old. Her first acting job ever was at age nine in the film The Piano (1993), which she ended up being cast in because it was shot in New Zealand. At age 16, she relocated to Los Angeles where she completed her last two years of high school (graduating in 2000). She then moved to New York where she attended Columbia University for one year. Between 2001 and 2004 she worked almost exclusively on stage in both New York and London. In 2007 Anna was cast in HBO's "True Blood", which concluded shooting its 7th and final season in 2014.
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  • WILLIAM BALDWINActor

  • Jesse EisenbergActor

    Curly haired and with a fast-talking voice, Jesse Eisenberg is a movie actor, known for his Academy Award nominated role as Mark Zuckerberg in the 2010 film The Social Network. He has also starred in the films The Squid and the Whale, Adventureland, The Education of Charlie Banks, 30 Minutes or Less, Now You See Me and Zombieland. Additionally, he played Lex Luthor in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Jesse Adam Eisenberg was born on October 5, 1983 in Queens, New York, and was raised in East Brunswick Township, New Jersey. His mother, Amy (Fishman), is a professional dressed-up clown who performed at children's birthday parties for a living in their hometown of East Brunswick for 20 years. His father, Barry Eisenberg, ran a hospital before moving on to become a college professor. Jesse has two sisters, Kerri and Hallie Eisenberg, who was a popular child star. His family is Jewish (his ancestors came to the U.S. from Poland, Russia, and Ukraine). He attended East Brunswick High School, but he didn't really enjoy school. From age 10, he performed in children's theater. Jesse had his first professional role in an off-Broadway play, "The Gathering". Before fame, he made his first television appearance role that came in 1999 when he was 16 with a show on Fox's Get Real (1999), but the show was canceled in 2000. In his senior year of high school, he had landed his first film leading role in the 2002 film Roger Dodger (2002). He won an award for "Most Promising New Actor" at the San Diego film festival. Jesse attended the New School University, New York, where he was a liberal arts major, with a focus on Democracy and Cultural Pluralism. He also studied at The New School in New York City's Greenwich Village. He applied and was accepted to New York University but declined enrollment to complete a film role. He has been playing the drums since he was age 8. His breakthrough role came in Zombieland (2009). In 2010, he was nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards for his role of Facebook's creator, Mark Zuckerberg, in the film, The Social Network (2010). He also voiced Blu, a rare blue macaw, in the film Rio (2011), and its sequel Rio 2 (2014). He starred alongside Aziz Ansari in the 2011 comedy 30 Minutes Or Less, and played himself in the 2013 comedy film He's Way More Famous Than You (2013).
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