Infinitely Polar Bear: Mark Ruffalo enters the Oscar race

Written and directed by Maya Forbes, Infinitely Polar Bear skyrockets actor Mark Ruffalo into the Oscar race for Best Actor.

For Forbes, this is a personal film. It is inspired by her own life. The movie is both funny and heartbreaking as we see the ways in which parents and children are able to save each other. An official selection of both the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics opens the film today in New York and Los Angeles. Audiences around the world will finally have the chance to see it on-screen–it’s better to see it there than to wait for the movie to be released on Netflix.

The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Imogene Wolodarsky, Ashley Aufderheide, Beth Dixon, and Keir Dullea. Wolodarsky is Forbes’ daughter so it adds another personal touch to the movie.

Set in 1978, Ruffalo stars as Cam Stuart. Rather than spending his days working in an office, he’s more likely to be found cooking or working on one of his many unfinished projects. Not working doesn’t help with the financial situation but they make do thanks to his family’s wealth. Cam struggles with manic depression and a breakdown puts him in a mental hospital. This forces his wife, Maggie (Saldana), and their two daughters, Amelia and Faith, to move from their house in the country to a small apartment in Cambridge. Unfortunately for Maggie, she’s just not able to land a job.

Maggie applies to and gets accepted into the Columbia University MBA program–which means moving to New York to complete here degree while leaving their children with Cam in Cambridge. While Cam likes having his daughters around, they don’t make it easy.

In the course of the 18 months in which his wife is living and enrolled in grad school in New York, Cam starts to realize that he’s not ready for this. It takes trial and error when it comes to taking care of not only his daughters but also himself. In doing so, he finally finds his place and where he fits in.

As Cam Stuart, Ruffalo shows his finest. This is, perhaps, is best work to date and that’s saying something right there. Previously an Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actor for his roles in The Kids Are All Right (2010) and Foxcatcher (2014), the Avengers star should finally break through with his first acting nomination at next year’s ceremony.

Infinitely Polar Bear opens on Friday in limited release before expanding in theaters. Check Sony Pictures Classics for listings.