A witty comedy of manners, Carnage is directed with consummate skill by Roman Polanski and performed with great flourish and nuance by Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, and John C. Reilly. The actors embody characters who are surfing on sand with flying carpets, trying not to topple off into the abyss of Hell that awaits below.
Adopted for the screen by Polanski and Yazmina Reza from the latter’s stage play “God of Carnage,” the film is set almost entirely in a well-appointed Brooklyn apartment, yet it only feels claustrophobic at definite, story-appropriate moments. Polanski directs without calling undue attention to how the film is staged, but it really is a marvel of construction, utilizing a great variety of angles and composition, pulling one character or another into the foreground and then gently pushing the others around the apartment.
Likewise, it’s photographed beautifully by Pawel Edelman — Polanski’s colloborator on The Pianist, Oliver Twist, and The Ghost Writer — in a quiet riot of shadows and light, gently showcasing all manner of earth tones and the color register between blue and grey. The production design by Dean Tavoularis, the costumes by Milena Canonero, the editing by Herve de Luze, and the music by Alexandre Desplat all serve to complement the material.
And what does that material have to say?
— From my review at Twitch.
‘Carnage’ opens in limited release across the Metroplex today.