Infinitely Polar Bear

COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 30min

STARRING: Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana

The gang's all (sort of) here: from left, Ruffalo, Wolodarsky and Aufderheide

Manic depression is the big dipper of mood swings. When you’re up, you’re sky-high, but on darker days, it’s a long way down. Cameron Stuart (Ruffalo), his wife, Maggie (Saldana), and their two young girls (dream team Imogene Wolodarsky and Ashley Aufderheide) all feel the sting of what ails him. Cam is unemployable post-breakdown and even though his family is filthy rich, the Stuarts have no money. Their only chance of making any lies with Maggie’s acceptance of an 18-month scholarship at Columbia University, leaving the girls behind in 1978 Boston with Cam.


Since Cam is differently wired and an overgrown kid in many ways, engaging with the outside world is an endless challenge while a duty of care isn’t so much a steep learning curve as a vertical ascent. He’s easy to love, though, if not to live with, and we barrack for him because with a huggable Ruffalo’s vitalised empathy, how could we not? Writer-director Maya Forbes has actually lived her debut movie and doesn’t pussyfoot around the pitfalls of otherness. Emotions run high, chez Stuart, as they do in any love story.