Roman Polanski directs this comedy of manners adapted from the play by Yasmina Reza, who also co-writes the screenplay. A stripped-back four-hander, the film tells the satirical tale of two sets of well-heeled New York City parents - Penelope and Michael Longstreet (Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly) and Nancy and Alan Cowan (Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz) - who meet for a discussion after their sons are involved in a violent incident in the school playground. Despite their honourable intentions, long-suppressed resentments and hostilities soon flare up both between and within the couples, leading to a rapid deterioration in civilities.
Based on the acclaimed play ‘God of Carnage' by Yasmina Reza, and directed by legendary auteur Roman Polanski, Carnage pits power couple Nancy (Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet (Mildred Pierce, The Reader
)) and Alan Cowan (Academy Award-winner Christoph Waltz (Water for Elephants, Inglourious Basterds
)) against the liberal writer and campaigner Penelope Longstreet (Academy Award-winner Jodie Foster (Panic Room, The Silence of the Lambs
)) and her wholesaler husband, Michael (John C. Reilly (We Need to Talk About Kevin, Magnolia
)). Unpredictable and shocking, the film hilariously exposes the hypocrisy lurking behind their polite façade.
Following a playground scuffle between their 11-year old children, the parents of the "victim" have invited the parents of the "bully" to their apartment to sort it out. Cordial banter gradually develops a razor-sharp edge as all four of the well-heeled American parents reveal their laughable contradictions and grotesque prejudices. None of them will escape the ensuing carnage in this hilarious new comedy.