Under the Influence: 'The Squid and the Whale'

Winner of the two top prizes at Sundance, Noah Baumbach's "The Squid and the Whale" (Oct. 5) is a no-budget film a clef about egghead divorce. The surprise: it's one of this fall's must-see flicks. Feeling out of the loop? We sum it up.

"Kramer vs. Kramer" + "Franny & Zooey" x "Royal Tennenbaums"

Add a bitter dash of the Kramers to Salinger's stew of smarty-pants New Yorkers. Then serve it up a la Wes Anderson--dry and deadpan.

"Manhattan" - Woody Allen + 10 years of marriage

Remember Allen's 1979 paean to sex and the city? Keep the neurotic literati--ditch the nebbish. Now fast-forward to the mid-80's.

"Heartburn" / Lucian Freud x director Jim Jarmusch

Split "Heartburn" (shot in Baumbach's childhhood home) with Freud's palette (Dad's new digs); filter through J.J.'s grainy lens. Indie rockers Belle and Sebastian x "Portnoy's Complaint"

Score the schoolyard scenes with this Scottish's septet's twee, tragicomic nostalgia rock--then factor in a healthy dose of Roth's raunch.