Noah Baumbach has been on an impressive directorial run this decade from Greenberg to Frances Ha to While We’re Young to Mistress America, right up through last year’s must-see De Palma. Now he’s being underwritten by Netflix for his latest exploration of tragicomic families in dysfunctional upheaval, and if the buzz coming out of this year’s Cannes Film Festival can be taken as any indication, he may well have knocked another one right out of the park.
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) follows Dustin Hoffman as Harold Meyerowitz, a famed modern artist who’s honored by New York City’s MOMA with a retrospective of his work. This brings his estranged family back under one roof, for the first time in years: Matthew (Ben Stiller), Jean (Elizabeth Marvel), and Danny (Adam Sandler), along with Danny’s daughter Eliza (Grace Van Patten). Soon old wounds are reopened, as they so often are in Baumbach’s work, and parent and child alike are forced to take stock of the frayed state of affairs between them all.
The first trailer suggests that it’s within familiar enough territory for Baumbach, but as a writer, he has an ear for the petty, caustic conversations between families that few other active filmmakers can match. Stiller has done some of his best work as an actor under Baumbach, and Sandler’s turn as a struggling father even has the kind of late-year awards hype beginning to surround it that hasn’t been heard since Punch Drunk Love. In any case, we won’t have to wait long to find out if Baumbach has made another critical and audience hit; The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) will premiere on Netflix and in select theaters on October 13th.