Margot at the Wedding

Noah Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale, a semi-autobiographical film about a Brooklyn family's experience with divorce, was the sleeper indie hit of 2005, and after its success Baumbach shot to prominence as a director to watch. His highly anticipated follow-up effort, Margot at the Wedding, returns to similar themes of family love and loathing; it stars Nicole Kidman as Margot, a high-strung writer who, along with her son Claude (Zane Pais), goes on a pilgrimage of sorts to her childhood home, where her estranged sister (Baumbach's wife Jennifer Jason Leigh) is marrying an unemployed painter (Jack Black) she just met. Baumbach -- who, it must be noted, bears an uncanny resemblance to Adrien Brody -- sat down with us in Toronto to talk about New York, family dynamics and just what's up with all those masturbation scenes.

Cinematical: After Squid and the Whale, a lot of people looked at you as a Brooklyn artist, the way they might look at someone like Jonathan Lethem. Did you have any temptation to make another movie set in Brooklyn, or did you deliberately move away from that?

Noah Baumbach: It wasn't deliberate or not deliberate -- I started writing this movie and it became what it was. It wasn't a response to anything in particular. I feel a real connection to Brooklyn, certainly, because I spent 20 years of my life there, but I don't think of myself as a Brooklyn artist any more than I think of myself as a male artist. I will say that when people would respond to Squid with a kind of Brooklyn-centric reaction I was pleased with that, because obviously Brooklyn means a lot to me.