INFINITELY POLAR BEAR | GIVEAWAY

Massive oopsie from me, totally forgot to get this up a few weeks back – huge apologies to the wonderful folks at Icon Film Distribution who are waiting to send prizes out. Kernel Kate Bradley reviewed this one back in February and it’s a great one! You can win one of 3x copies of INFINITELY POLAR BEAR on Blu Ray. Find out how to win after Kate’s amazing review…..all the best….JK.

Original article from Feb 24, 2015

They had me at Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana but INFINITELY POLAR BEAR is not just an A-list starring movie, it takes an interesting look at bipolar disorder (manic depression) and the effects it has on family. It is the directorial debut from writer/producer Maya Forbes (THE ROCKER, MONSTERS v ALIENS) and it appears to be kicking butt in overseas festivals. INFINITELY POLAR BEAR will release on March 26th in Australia, it is being released by Icon Film Distribution, runs for 90mins and has been rated M. Now enjoy Kernel Kate’s review………all the best……..JK. 

 

INFINITELY POLAR BEAR MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
INFINITELY POLAR BEAR | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY KATE BRADLEY 

While audiences may be a little more accustomed to seeing these two actors in big budget action flicks, boasting appearances in THE AVENGERS, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and STAR TREK between them, Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana are pitch perfect in INFINITELY POLAR BEAR, a low-key but lovingly crafted story about a manic-depressive husband and father proving he can be the man his family needs.

In the eyes of his daughters Amelia and Faith (played by Imogen Wolodarsky and Ashley Aufderheide respectively) Cameron Stuart (Ruffalo) is the best dad in the world. His manic energy leads them on grand expeditions in the country-side close to where they live. He’s funny, creative, a great cook and loves his girls dearly. But in the late 70s, a time when the man is still very much expected to be the bread-winner, Cameron’s condition renders him practically unemployable, particularly when he’s getting into fierce arguments with his employers and quitting on the first day. After one such incident, Cameron suffers a nervous breakdown and is institutionalized, leaving behind his daughters and his wife Maggie (Saldana).

 

INFINITELY POLAR BEAR MOVIE IMAGE
INFINITELY POLAR BEAR | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | CAMERON (MARK RUFFALO), MAGGIE (ZOE SALDANA) AND THE KIDS HAVING FUN

 

Maggie is a smart, practical woman but she struggles to make ends meet while taking care of two young daughters. She packs up their idyllic life in the country and moves the girls to a crummy rent-controlled apartment in Boston where she can work, a move she is resented for by Amelia and Faith. The sisters are even more indignant when Maggie does not let their father stay with them once he’s released. This is particularly heartbreaking for Cameron who loves his wife with a relentless passion but while Maggie still cares for him, being the only adult in their young family has worn her down.

The family is broke and broken and Maggie worries what it means for the girls to grow up this way. She’s adamant they need the best education, which means private schooling that they cannot afford. Maggie decides she has to further her own education to get a better paying job but to do that she must live in New York during her studies and leave the girls in Cameron’s sole care. This plan is terrifying to Cameron who has always looked to Maggie as the responsible parent. However he agrees to step up, seeing this as a way to redeem himself, win back Maggie and ensure the four of them can be a family again. The ensuing journey is complicated, bittersweet, anxiety-ridden and, on one or two occasions, utterly endearing.

 

INFINITELY POLAR BEAR
INFINITELY POLAR BEAR | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | CAMERON (MARK RUFFALO), MAGGIE (ZOE SALDANA)

 

This labor of love is the directorial debut from Writer/Producer Maya Forbes (MONSTERS VS ALIENS, THE ROCKER) whose production background lies primarily in comedies and kids movies. This may explain the lightness with which Forbes has dealt with some fairly depressing subject matter in her screenplay, making what could’ve been a very gloomy film quite heart-warming and encouraging. Reportedly based on Forbes’ own childhood experiences, INFINITELY POLAR BEAR is truly a family affair with Maya’s daughter Imogen playing the eldest Stuart sister, Amelia, and her husband Wallace Wolodarsky listed as a producer alongside Ruffalo and J.J. Abrams among others.

The cast really are so good. Ruffalo’s wild and charming performance is counterbalanced by Saldana’s grounded portrayal of the pragmatic but deeply loving Maggie. Even the two girls are great in these challenging roles for such young actors.

 

INFINITELY POLAR BEAR MOVIE IMAGE
INFINITELY POLAR BEAR | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | CAMERON (MARK RUFFALO) AND THE KIDS

 

Along with a great script and exceptional cast, this movie’s secret strength is the insight it provides about living with Bipolar Disorder without smacking you over the head with information. Even the word ‘Bipolar’ is barely spoken in the body of the film, only mentioned notably when Amelia is correcting her younger sister who says their father is “Polar Bear”. Mental illness and prominent social issues of the era, feminism and racism, serve as texture to the story but do not totally define it. Forbes does not preach to her audience through her film, instead she has invited us to witness the lives of a very particular family with very particular challenges.

While I don’t want to ruin the ending I will say it’s not your traditional happily ever after. Very little of INFINITELY POLAR BEAR is predictable and even less was comfortable to watch but the detail and humour carry you through. This is a film well worth seeing.

 

4 and a Half Pops

 

With special thanks to ICON MOVIES to win one of the 3X Blu Rays of INFINITELY POLAR BEAR  you need to either like and share/ retweet this post on Facebook/Twitter/ Google+/ Pinterest/ LinkedIn/ Flipboard or Instagram (all the links to follow us are on the top right of homepage), you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer/s to the following questions:

What is your favourite mental illness movie and why? There are so many that fit this category but my hands down winner has to be ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST – close follow up to BLACK SWAN and special mention to DONNIE DARKO.

If you do not have social media then get with the times – you can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jking@saltypopcorn.com.au telling me you don’t have social media (you still need to enter on the website).

Prizes will no longer be awarded to first in first served. It will now be a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be drawn next week and sent straight away – I completely forgot to get this review up!! Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.