Polanski’s “Carnage” feels like a trifle. It’s a good film, well-constructed and with superb acting. Though one wonders what it would have been with better comedic performers. Likely it would have been an uproar, as all the potential was there for a madcap affair rather than a subtle and slight social satire. Polanski is not necessarily the right director for an all-out comedy and the film itself is a stunningly short 79 minutes. A bit more was necessary to convince that this was an important or even memorable film.
Waltz and Winslet were surprisingly good as a comedic pair, though Foster and Reilly left something to be desired. The type of premise in this film is very predictable and all of the jokes are telegraphed with simplicity. It is a stage drama in essence and the film really does not try to be more than that. Polanski phoned this one in, which should be unacceptable for a visionary director such as he is.