Infinitely Polar Bear

"Ruffalo gives another in a string of great performances, this time as a loving father with bipolar disorder." - Oregonian

“Precocious kids, a dad out of his depth, the overtly funky fabrics of late-'70s furniture and clothing: These are often the stuff of indie nightmares. Yet Maya Forbes's autobiographical directing debut, containing all of the above, avoids these pitfalls, arriving at a comic tale that  is movingly heartfelt and fresh.

“"Bohemia is over," young Amelia tells us in voiceover—or at least that's what her mother, Maggie (a shrewd Zoe Saldana), says as her husband, bipolar Cam (Mark Ruffalo), succumbs to a full-on mental breakdown in 1978. Emerging from treatment on shaky but better ground, unemployable Cam is faced with a tricky proposition from his wife: She'll move to New York and get her MBA in 18 months (the career boost the family needs), while he will summon the responsibility to care for Amelia and her sister, Faith, in a small Boston apartment. It's a bold plan, and not really optional.

“Infinitely Polar Bear—the title refers to Forbes's father's own description of his illness—shifts into episodic misadventures, the girls cringing at his profane manic bouts  while also rising to the occasion in helping him manage the household.

“Ruffalo, a master of rumpled befuddlement, finds his signature role here—it can't be overstated how deftly he eases into the tricky creation, a blue-blooded slacker who aches when the world won't hug him back. Cam is, nonetheless, an excellent parent, and his constant busyness within his cloud of cigarette smoke reveals a sincere man trying to make good. The generosity of the movie gives him that redemption, as well as a dignity that's rare in off-kilter domestic dramas.” - Joshua Rothkopf, Variety


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