Entertainment » Movies

Infinitely Polar Bear

by Louise Adams
Tuesday Jan 5, 2016
Infinitely Polar Bear

Maya Forbes bases "Infinitely Polar Bear" on the true story of a bi-polar husband, his wife and two daughters, which is executive produced by J.J. Abrams.

Outdoors-loving Cam Stuart (charming Mark Ruffalo), a fan of green Izods and shorts, chain-smoking and making delicious crepes -- after he is institutionalized then transitions into a halfway house -- returns to the family and becomes the absent-minded house-husband when wife Maggie (Zoe Saldana) leaves him, his "labyrinth of lies," and their girls in Cambridge when she pursues her 18-month MBA at Columbia.

Supported by his wealthy but distanced parents, Cam doesn't take his lithium as he should; instead he controls his manic depression with small sips of beer, and manages to keep the family intact, albeit apart, through his many half-completed mechanical projects and deep love.

Blu-ray special features include deleted scenes, commentary with Ruffalo, Forbes, and producer Wally Wolodarsky.

The "LA Film Festival Q&A with the Cast and Filmmakers" talks about the film and the production being a family affair, with Forbes' daughter Imogene Wolodarsky playing oldest Amelia (who passes as white in the movie), alongside younger, African-American-looking Faith (wise-cracking firecracker Ashley Aufderheide).

Forbes talked about the many years and challenges it took to get funding for her film.

Saldana wasn't a mother herself at the time of filming, but says she was happy to be able to talk to Maya's mother Peggy about their unusual family dynamic.

Ruffalo relished the challenge of playing such a complex character -- almost in every scene -- as a man who is both "relatable and unwell."

The film is difficult and delightful, and a refreshing look at a new way to live through mental illness.


"Infinitely Polar Bear"
Blu-ray
$26.99
http://sonyclassics.com/infinitelypolarbear/

Louise Adams is a Chicago freelance writer at www.treefalls.com (and a nom de guerre).


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