MovieRetriever: You may think he’s a misanthrope and, well, we’ll get to that. Solondz’s newest film Life During Wartime is a quasi-sequel to Happiness with an entirely new cast exploring the themes of the first film with a new emotional depth. Shot almost entirely as a series of two-person scenes of emotional revelation, stars Allison Janney, Shirley Henderson, Ally Sheedy, Ciaran Hinds, Chris Marquette, and Paul Reubens (yes, Pee-Wee Herman) rise to the challenge of Solondz’s least ironic work to date.
We speak to the 'Welcome to the Dollhouse' director about feeling like an outsider and making movies about mortality.
Philly: Physicists say that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Todd Solondz says that for every measure of happiness, there is a unequally larger and opposite measure of pain.
MovieRetriever: If someone were to make a list of the least-expected sequels of all time, Todd Solondz's follow-up to Happiness, Life During Wartime, would have to be on that list. Considering the relatively disappointing Storytelling and Palindromes, what's equally-as-unexpected is the dramatic effectiveness of Solondz's most heartfelt and un-ironic film to date.