Mark Ruffalo gets his best role since You Can Count on Me
as Jack, a hypocritical English teacher who chastises his tortured wife (an effective Laura Dern) about her interest toward his best friend, then sleeps with his best friend’s wife (the always good Naomi Watts). The film, directed by John Curran and written by Larry Gross, is about as nasty a take on modern day romance and marriage as you are likely to see, with the performers and production pulling no punches. The actors somehow manage to create people behaving badly, but people a viewer can care about nonetheless. This one gets Ruffalo back on track as one of his generation’s better actors, and Watts continues to astound. Good, but a somewhat miserable experience.