The Squid and the Whale is a 2005 American arthouse comedy-drama film written and directed by Noah Baumbach and produced by Wes Anderson. It tells the semi-autobiographical story of two boys in Brooklyn dealing with their parents' divorce in the 1980s. The film is named after the giant squid and sperm whale diorama housed at the American Museum of Natural History, which is seen in the film. The film was shot on Super 16mm, mostly using a handheld camera. The Squid and the Whale was a critical success. At the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, the film won awards for best dramatic direction and screenwriting, and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Baumbach later received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The film received six Independent Spirit Award nominations and three Golden Globe nominations. The New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review voted its screenplay the year's best.
Bernard Berkman (Jeff Daniels) is an arrogant, once-promising novelist whose career has gone into a slow decline as he spends more time teaching and less time writing. His wife, Joan (Laura Linney), has recently begun publishing her own work to widespread acclaim, which only increases the growing tension between them. One day, Bernard and Joan tell their two sons, 16-year-old Walt (Jesse Eisenberg) and 12-year-old Frank (Owen Kline), that they are separating, with Bernard renting a house on the other side of Prospect Park from their home in Park Slope, Brooklyn.