• Was: $30.48
  • You Save: $2.49 (8%)
& FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Life During Wartime (The ... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Item not in the original case. Missing shrink-wrap, activation codes for bonus online content may be missing or expired.
Trade in your item
Get up to a $2.37
Gift Card.
Other Sellers on Amazon
Add to Cart
& FREE Shipping on eligible orders. Details
Sold by: Fulfillment Express US
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Life During Wartime (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

3.4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

Additional Multi-Format options Edition Discs
New from Used from
(Jul 26, 2011)
"Please retry"
The Criterion Collection
$23.99 $13.69
Watch Instantly with Rent Buy

Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Prime
Unlimited Streaming with Amazon Prime Start your 30-day free trial to stream thousands of movies & TV shows included with Prime. Start your free trial
$27.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Life During Wartime (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
  • +
  • Dark Horse [Blu-ray]
  • +
  • Happiness
Total price: $46.52
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

In Life During Wartime, independent filmmaker Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse) explores contemporary American existence and the nature of forgiveness with his customary dry humor and queasy precision. The film functions as a distorted mirror image of Solondz’s acclaimed 1998 dark comedy Happiness, its emotionally stunted characters now groping for the possibility of change in a post-9/11 world. Happiness’s grim New Jersey setting is transposed to sunny Florida, but the biggest twist is that new actors fill the roles originated in the earlier film--including Shirley Henderson (Topsy-Turvy), Allison Janney (The Ice Storm), and Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club) as alarmingly dissimilar sisters, and Ciaran Hinds (Persuasion) hauntingly embodying a reformed pedophile. Shot in expressionistic tones by cinematographer extraordinaire Ed Lachman (Far from Heaven), Solondz’s film finds the humor in the tragic and the tragic in the everyday.

Special Features

New digital transfer, supervised and approved by director of photography

"Ask Todd," an audio Q&A with director Todd Solondz

Making "Life During Wartime," a new documentary featuring interviews with actors

New video piece in which Lachman discusses his work on the film

Original theatrical trailer

PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Sterritt

Product Details

  • Actors: Shirley Henderson, Allison Janney, Ally Sheedy, Ciaran Hinds, Paul Reubens
  • Directors: Todd Solondz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004WPYO38
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,555 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Life During Wartime (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
A few years ago I watched this film at a local art house. A few days ago I was making coffee and it must have been the swirling motion in my cup (as I stirred in the cream and sugar) that hypnotized me, causing the resurfacing of a few repressed memories - namely from this film.

As I recall, there were about seven or eight other people in the theater, most of whom were sitting by themselves and probably not mentally prepared for the hour and a half long ride of horrifying abnormality and sheer discomfort that is typical of director Todd Solondz's films, which according to Wikipedia are inspired by his experiences growing up in New Jersey - and I BELIEVE IT, wholeheartedly. So, why did I give five stars to this film? Mainly because of the circumstances under which I watched it. As I mentioned, Solondz's films are abnormal and discomforting, which made watching this film amongst complete strangers in a dark theater and from the back row quite amusing. Like in true horror movie fashion it was not uncommon to see people sinking down into their chairs, letting out sharp gasps and sighs, covering their faces, and turning their heads disapprovingly from side to side. As for myself, I too was taken by surprise, especially when the young boy (Timmy) cries out "I hope I NEVER get molested!" At that point I pretty much lost control and had to gag myself with my coat because I didn't want to appear rude and insensitive towards the subject matter or attract the glaring faces of the combined seven or eight people in the audience. I think this movie really got the better of some people.

Without question, this is the work of Todd Solondz.
1 Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Blu-ray
Without a doubt, Todd Solondz's creepy, disturbing, and subversively hilarious masterpiece "Happiness" was my favorite film of 1998. Savage, but divisive, I've discovered through the years that the film tends to engender strong feelings of either hatred or of adoration with little middle ground. To be fair, with its mature themes and aggressive frankness, it may be one of the most squirm inducing comedies of all time. And yet this tale of three sisters and their immediate family also resonates with a certain amount of truth. The world is how we construct it but, often times, that construction is nothing more than an illusion. And those closest to us are either complicit in that deceit or are the only ones who can see through the cracks. A skewering of middle class ideals and insecurities, "Happiness" was a pitch perfect blend of the outrageous and the macabre.

When I heard that Solondz intended to revisit this masterpiece, casting new actors, it seemed like an inspired addition to his increasingly non-conformist resume. Shirley Henderson, Allison Janney and Ally Sheedy now inhabit the roles originated by Jane Adams, Cynthia Stevenson, and Lara Flynn Boyle respectively. All three do an excellent job of recapturing the essence of their character's neuroses--Sheedy, unfortunately, has more of a cameo but her scenes are dead-on hilarious. The film begins with an absolutely perfect scene between Henderson and her husband that mirrors the first scene from "Happiness" in a sublimely funny way. When we move on to Janney, a control freak desperately looking for love, I knew that Solondz had done it again. The primary plot points involve Henderson dealing with a past lover's suicide (Jon Lovitz's ghost interpreted by Paul Reubens--inspired!
Read more ›
1 Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: DVD
Todd Solondz' "Happiness" is one of the most disturbing films I'd ever seen. It's also excellent. It explores the ickiest, most pathetic and repulsive parts of modern human life, and deftly combines tragedy with pitch-black humor. Over a decade later, Solondz clearly felt the need to revisit the characters from that film, hence this sequel "Life During Wartime". Instead of trying to recruit the original actors to reprise their roles, Solondz chose to completely recast them, allowing a new cast to breath life into these characters.

As much as I wanted to love this film, throughout it I couldn't shake the feeling of it being a somewhat unnecessary sequel. The plot of "Happiness" loosely revolved around the stories of three sisters, and despite the years that have gone by, the characters haven't really changed much. Joy is still wimpy, optimistic, and drawn to self-destructive, damaged men. Helen is still arrogant and entitled. The only character who seems at least somewhat different is Trish. In the first film, before discovering her husband's pedophilia, she was a smug control freak. Years later, the character reeks of desperation while trying to recreate the "normal" life for herself that she thought she once had.

The themes of "Life During Wartime" are also mostly the same as those of "Happiness": trauma, shame, guilt, disappointment, and the part family plays in all of these things. The new film differs only slightly from its predecessor by also exploring the theme (or maybe just the possibility) of redemption. This exploration is apparent in the storyline of Bill Maplewood, Trish's ex-husband, just released from prison.
Read more ›
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Life During Wartime (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Life During Wartime (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customers Also Watched on Amazon Video