Maybe stupid people shouldn't breed. But if the Berkman family teaches us anything, it's that loveless, privileged intellectual snobs shouldn't, either.

There are a total of five Berkmans in The Squid and the Whale : father Bernard (Jeff Daniels), mother Joan (Laura Linney), teenager Walt (Jesse Eisenberg), young son Frank (Owen Kline) and a cat. Of the five, only the cat can be accused of being anything close to likeable.

But while the Berkmans themselves are nothing to delight over, their film is another story. Whale is just that – a big, honest, sometimes bizarre, often explicit beast of a film that savagely dissects divorce, materialism and the pursuit of empty ideas and accomplishments in lieu of any real humanity.

Even when the film is in downer mode, which is most of the time, you can take solace in its delightfully ironic skewering of the same art-house crowd to which it's also marketing itself. Here's hoping some of its stuffier patrons got the hint.

Extras: Director commentary, director/writer interview, behind-the-scenes feature, liner notes.

Grade: A