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HH HHH THE central character of Mike White's navel-gazing picture is a narcissist and neurotic, gripped by a nasty case of social media envy.

"The world hated me and the feeling was mutual," whines Brad in a running commentary slathered in self-loathing that threatens to turn us against him too.

Played with enough warmth by Ben Stiller to retain our empathy if not our sympathy, Brad is repeatedly reminded of the true riches in his miserablist existence: his adoring wife and child.

Refreshingly, there is no neat and tidy catharsis in White's barbed script but there is certainly hope, catalysed by a stellar supporting performance from Austin Abrams as Brad's teenage son.

Michael Sheen, Luke Wilson, and Jemaine Clement appear as Brad's high-flying pals who leave Brad bemoaning his lot.

Brad's understanding wife Melanie (Jenna Fischer) reassures him that life is sweet, but her husband's funk threatens to derail their son Troy's academic dreams as they visit potential colleges.

Brad's Status is a wellobserved portrait of middleage malaise.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jan 5, 2018
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