Blu-ray Review: Infinitely Polar Bear

PolarBluSTUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Maya Forbes | CAST: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, Ashley Aufderheide, Keir Dullea
RELEASE DATE: 1/5/15 | PRICE: DVD $25.99, Blu-ray $26.99
BONUSES: commentary, deleted scenes, Los Angeles Film Festival Q&A
SPECS: R | 90 min. | Comedy drama | 1.78:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, French, Croatian, Czech and Estonian subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video | Overall

Infinitely Polar Bear
is an entertaining and touching portrait of a family struggling amidst the effects of mental illness.  The directorial debut from veteran writer Maya Forbes (who’s credits range from The Larry Sanders Show to Monsters vs. Aliens), inspired by events from her life, stars Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) and Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy) as marrieds Cameron and Maggie Stuart and newcomers Imogene Wolodarsky and Ashley Aufderheide as their daughters.

Mark Ruffalo with Zoe Saldana, Ashley Aufderheide and Imogene Wolodarsky in Infinitely Polar Bear.

Mark Ruffalo with Zoe Saldana, Ashley Aufderheide and Imogene Wolodarsky in Infinitely Polar Bear.

Cam (Ruffalo) suffers from bipolar disorder and after a severe manic episode forces him to leave his family and seek medical help, he attempts to rebuild his relationship with his two daughters, and win back the trust of his wife (Saldana). Life is further complicated when Maggie decides to go to business school in New York and Cameron is tasked with the day-to-day care of the children.

In lesser hands, the character of Cameron could have been full comic clichés, but Ruffalo delicately balances Cameron’s charming persona with the more series personality traits caused by his condition. Saldana holds her own as the resolute and vulnerable matriarch who is torn between getting an education in an effort to provide for her family and not being home to care for them.

As the film puts forth a series of heartbreaking, funny and frightening family moments, the tone leans a bit on the cutesy side, but ultimately Forbes crafts a poignant and insightful drama about how an ordinary family copes with the effects of bipolar disorder with a mix of love, anger, humor and compassion.

Blu-ray and DVD special features include deleted scenes, commentary with Ruffalo, Forbes and Wally Wolodarsky and the Los Angeles Film Festival Q&A with cast and filmmakers.

Buy or Rent Infinitely Polar Bear
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