New on DVD: Marie and Bruce

New on DVD: Marie and Bruce

The disintegration of a marriage can be very ugly. Marie and Bruce chronicles one day in the end of their marital misery and while it is unpleasant, it may only appeal to an art house taste. While the screen is still black, Marie (Julianne Moore) confesses “I find my husband so goddamn irritating that I’m […]


The disintegration of a marriage can be very ugly. Marie and Bruce chronicles one day in the end of their marital misery and while it is unpleasant, it may only appeal to an art house taste.

While the screen is still black, Marie (Julianne Moore) confesses “I find my husband so goddamn irritating that I’m planning to leave him.” This is one of the least profane descriptions of her feelings for Bruce (Matthew Broderick) in the entire film. She loathes Bruce even as he sleeps next to her. Upon awakening, Bruce’s every dull step and word set off Marie’s shrill sarcasm. However, it’s unclear whether his polite responses are actually acts of passive aggression.

The film is like an intense miniature of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Their venomous banter is amusing but could be equally irritating to someone else. Bruce has what would be a terribly boring lunch to anyone else with his long time friend Roger (Bob Balaban), who is just a fount of non-stop irrelevant anecdotes. Meanwhile, Marie takes a walk into unfamiliar neighbourhoods, eventually drifting into a dream of serene nature in an urban landscape.

Broderick’s character is similar to his Election personality but with a little more variation; his overly civil attitude is a far more demanding and impressive performance. Moore’s high-strung Marie is equally challenging as she continuously balances on a line between hysteria and indifference. Together, they carry this film to a quiet conclusion after a rollercoaster of restrained bickering and wounding confrontation that is fascinating to witness.

There are no DVD special features to evaluate.