"INFINITELY POLAR BEAR"
Had no clues what the "Infinitely Polar Bear" was about or who was in it. Simply fell in love
with the 90 minute running time and boom they had me.
In short, I see that 2 of the stars were "Mark Ruffalo" who not an A-list box office draw
but clearly an A list actor and Zoe Saldana who is terrific and honestly very captivating to watch.
It will be really interesting to see if Ruffalo gets any post season award love because his portrayal here of bipolar/manic depressed dad/husband deserves serious attention. Walking the mental stability tight rope, he clearly portrays a man struggling with real issues while balancing parent and husband resposponsibilities.
Folks, he seriously struggles and barely holds it together. But he does (barely) and we root for him gently. Both he (Cameron) and Saldana (his wife Maggie) are clearly well educated and at least one raised in high affluence. They fell in love and marry in the their hippy/free late 60's/early 70's years. 2 daughters come into their life while Cam's mental stability deteriorates to the point of being institutionalized.
Cam lives with a filterless cigarette in his mouth the entire movie and slowly recovers thru a halfway house and then to an apartment on his own. He tries to rebuild his relationship with his wife and 2 daughters (who a remarkably strong, close sisters who play powerful roles). The relationships are fragile at best, yet economically, this couple is far back on their heels yet they know the value of excellent education for themselves and their girls.
Maggie is clearly the rock and breadwinner. Sick of working dead end jobs and living in rent controlled apartments in Boston, she applies and gets into Columbia Business school for an 18 month master program in NYC. Rolling the dice on the stability of her husband and the strength of her daughters, she heads off. Watching the nail-biting roller coaster ride of Dad raising the girls while Mom comes home on weekends always to a wildcard situation. He is such a kid that he easily can be his kids best playmate, yet conversely has huge difficulty playing the responsible, stable parent role. He struggles so and we root for him while being so anxious that is risky behavior can have a really bad result.
He is brilliant yet childlike and watching this journey is difficult yet funny yet warm yet unnerving. Clearly Cam and his idiosyncrasies is someone most of us would stay away from in public or if our neighbor. His girls and his wife walk a most anguishing line wanting to break away yet love him to death. This is a terrific film on mental illness for the patient that can, though not perfectly, function in the modern world with modern traditional roles.
There are definitely very funny moments and uneasy moments. Worth the trip.
Stay to the end ….the warm end.