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Margot at the Wedding (2007)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 164
Fresh: 86
Rotten: 78

Critics Consensus: Despite a great cast, the characters in Margot at the Wedding are too unlikable to enthrall viewers.

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 40
Fresh: 25
Rotten: 15

Critics Consensus: Despite a great cast, the characters in Margot at the Wedding are too unlikable to enthrall viewers.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 21,823

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Movie Info

Margot Zeller, a savagely bright, razor-tongued short-story writer who creates chaos wherever she goes, sets off on a surprise journey to the wedding of her estranged and free-spirited, unassuming sister Pauline. Margot, with her all-too-rapidly maturing son Claude in tow, arrives with the gale force of a hurricane. From the minute she meets Pauline's fiancé--the unemployed artist Malcolm--Margot starts to plant seeds of doubt about the union. As the wedding approaches, one complication crashes … More

Rating:
R (for sexual content and language)
Genre:
Drama , Art House & International , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Noah Baumbach
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Feb 19, 2008
Box Office:
$1.9M
Runtime:
Paramount Vantage - Official Site


Cast



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Critic Reviews for Margot at the Wedding

All Critics (171) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (86) | Rotten (78) | DVD (14)

Baumbach's interest in families - a distinct Baumbachian sort of family - is acute and his observations often painful and delivered with a dry wit.

Full Review… | February 28, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

Kidman's performance keeps you transfixed all the way through, because she delves into her character's damaged psyche so fully, you're constantly fascinated to see what biting, acidic thing she will say next.

December 14, 2007
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Apart from John Turturro in a cameo, all the characters are monsters and/or basket cases.

Full Review… | December 14, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

There isn't a pleasant, wholly likable character in the cast. But you can't avert your eyes from it.

Full Review… | December 13, 2007
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Writer-director Noah Baumbach solidifies his standing as the modern bard of American dysfunctional families with Margot at the Wedding, but at the same time he's recycling material he's already covered, and covered more exquisitely.

Full Review… | December 7, 2007
Detroit News
Top Critic

There's no question Baumbach has a way with words and actors (Kidman, Leigh and Jack Black are terrific).

Full Review… | November 24, 2007
Toronto Star
Top Critic

As in the minutely observed anatomy of a divorce in The Squid and the Whale, the pleasures and pains of Margot reside in the smallness of scope and queasy focus on delicate family matters.

Full Review… | September 30, 2014
Stop Smiling

Who the hell names their son Claude? Do they want him to get beat up every day of his life?

Full Review… | April 28, 2011
East Bay Express

The results aren't bruising, just numbing

Full Review… | August 27, 2009
CinePassion

Noah Baumbach’s entry into the dysfunctional-family sweepstakes is a successfully depressing affair that has some genuine laughs to maintain interest while the fake relationships that dominate every scene leave the viewer as estranged as the char

Full Review… | July 23, 2009

The raw, real centerpiece is the relationship between Kidman and Leigh, whose performances drive the film.

Full Review… | December 27, 2008
TheMovieReport.com

No one does bad parent movies better than Noah Baumbach.

Full Review… | September 8, 2008

a dysfunctional family portrait that, at best, shows how far sisterly bonds can stretch without breaking. At worst, it demonstrates what happens when a writer with nothing to say continues to produce after his supply of bio fuel is exhausted

Full Review… | March 17, 2008

Noah Baumbach is the king of dysfunction. We constantly see films about war, love, aliens, so why no films about how insanely uncomfortable family can be with one another?

Full Review… | March 4, 2008
The Scorecard Review

Doesn't quite measure up to its predecessor but it is still an often painfully accurate study of fractured family relationships.

Full Review… | February 29, 2008
This is London

Of course, we get nothing so false as an "emotional journey" for anyone. But as the film abruptly ends, you can't help feeling a little less ice would go a long way.

Full Review… | February 29, 2008
thelondonpaper

Dramatically and visually, there's no relief to be had in this self-indulgent downer.

Full Review… | February 29, 2008
Independent

There is such a thing as binge pessimism. It happens when one living disaster area, considered insufficient in a story, is served up with several others, causing audience braincells to swirl, stagger and collide against thalamic lampposts.

Full Review… | February 29, 2008
Financial Times

Never fully coheres or convinces.

Full Review… | February 29, 2008
Daily Telegraph

This largely po-faced comedy drama has an annoying, self-congratulatory tone.

Full Review… | February 29, 2008
Sun Online

Humourless (though supposedly a comedy) and pretentious, almost a parody of the self-indulgent Sundance festival film, right down to the washed-out colours, droning dialogue and the title in big sans-serif capitals.

Full Review… | February 29, 2008
Guardian

Some of the dialogue is well-crafted and the performances are generally strong (although Black hams shamelessly at times) but the characters are so loathsome that you long for a hurricane to sweep away this wedding party.

Full Review… | February 29, 2008
Times [UK]

Magnetic, subtly tragic and ultimatley sympathetic, worth a watch if only to remind yourself why you don't go home for Christmas anymore.

Full Review… | February 29, 2008
Little White Lies

With superb acting and great dialogue, this acerbic comic drama has some excellent moments, but it too often feels like being on an enforced holiday with people you'd rather not spend any time with.

Full Review… | February 29, 2008

A big-name cast including Nicole Kidman, Jack Black and Jennifer Jason Leigh wrestles with a storyline containing industrial-sized quantities of misery and a plot that leaves too many loose ends hanging.

Full Review… | February 29, 2008
Daily Mirror [UK]

Emotional car-crash cinema at its best, packed with characters you'd hate to meet but who are riveting to watch. Baumbach's barbed cynicism won't be to everyone's taste, but those still suffering the aftermath of a family Christmas will grin in grim recog

Full Review… | February 28, 2008
Total Film

Audience Reviews for Margot at the Wedding

½

I usually like Noah Baumbach's dialogue so much that I'm able to overlook his films' meandering pace and unlikeable characters. I could not forgive this one, however, both because the dialogue isn't as consistently sharp and because the overall structure is unmercifully dull. Though Jack Black's show-stealing performance reaffirms Baumbach's ability to maximize the humor he can get out of his misanthropes, the same is not true for the anti-hero played by Nicole Kidman. She plays her role efficiently, but gives absolutely no humanity to the part as Black does, and as Jeff Daniels and Ben Stiller have in the writer/director's other, better films.

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Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

This film is in my favorite genre: dark humored, pointless, character driven films. Noah Baumbach is one of my favorite writer/directors, and in this story of a strung out writer at her sister's wedding and all the family dysfunction that goes along with it, the film writes itself with its strong characters and gritty pretense. The storyline isn't all too original, but the performances from these actors are driving, unflinching, and realistic. Nicole Kidman has never been so unlikable and flighty as she is in this film. She is narrow minded of her sister, who is marrying a dilettante (Jack Black) who Margot deems unfit for her. There is also a sensitive past between the two sisters and their family, intensified by the fact that Margot's sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh) currently lives in the old family house. There is a bitter honesty between the siblings but also a kind of magic realism, as their lives are slowly unearthed to one another after all these years. Kidman especially stirs the pot between the factions of the family with her commentary on her sister's fiance, their past, and the fact that all her writing is autobiographical and has ruined her sister's first marriage, alienated her from her family, and caused a rift in her own marriage, also caused by an affair with an egotistical ass. What is really striking about these interrelationships is that of the children, especially Margot's son, who she repeatedly self-diagnoses as having Asperger's and when she wants to be nice describes him as an artistic soul. Her son seems spoiled, yet that may seem the case because he speaks of things he knows little about with his cousin and family friend, but when he speaks to his mother she either undermines what he thinks and feels as childish blather, or intellectual hierarchy supplemented by her own particular parenting style. Even though it is strangely pointless throughout, I think the ending is supposed to be uplifting, as Margot is trying to stop her reckless behavior and reconnect with her family. Still, there is nothing pseudo intellectual about this character study or bombastic from Jack Black's performance as the light comedy. It has some simple realism, but really it's about family, and the lengths we go to protect ourselves from the only people who know us best.

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FrizzDrop
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

½

Nicole Kidman has fleshed out some excellent roles throughout her career in some great films, namely; "To Die For" "Dogville" and most recently "Rabbit Hole" but this is also one for her vintage collection of characters.
She plays moderately successful novelist Margot Zeller who has taken her son Claude (Zane Pais) to sister Pauline's (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who's about to marry drifting artist Malcolm (Jack Black). While relations appear cordial, it becomes clear, as the wedding looms, that Margot's prime talent is for upsetting people.
This quirky heartfelt drama will certainly not appeal to everyone but if you appreciate sharp writing and realistic well drawn characters, then look no further. This is a film that has quality from all angles just coursing through it. Writer/Director Noah Baumbach's attention to detail and ear for dialogue is just so sharp and natural and it's perfectly delivered by an exceptionally good cast. I normally avoid the highly irritating Jack Black but have to admit he was excellently used. His comic ability has never been used as effectively as it is here but it's the serious side to his character that is most appealing, of which he also delivers. Zane Pais is brilliant for such a young actor and I'm very surprised we haven't seen more from him recently, but the acting plaudits must go to Kidman for her fabulous depiction of a bitter and thoughtless neurotic who causes harm to everyone around her. It stands as probably my favourite performance from her so far. She is simply superb as the beating heart behind a very disfunctional family.
Baumbach reminds me of a more serious Wes Anderson in his subtle yet very detailed writing and after seeing this and the class of "The Squid and The Whale", I think I've found another director to keep a very close eye on. A real treat. Next stop "Greenberg".

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MrMarakai
Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

½

I really liked The Squid and the Whale and so was really looking forward to this but I have to say, I'm disappointed. I liked the cast, every performance was first rate - even though that did mean that they all played 'annoying' rather well. You know a film isn't great when Jack Black is the light relief though and as well shot as this film is, it's also very shallow and devoid of worth. I'm a firm believer that films don't necessarily have to have a point but I do think they should be at least entertaining if they don't. And what the hell is the obsession with young boys masturbating? Stop it, just stop it! The Squid and the Whale was a great film but Margot at the Wedding gives Independent American cinema a bad name in my book. Only worth watching for the ever wonderful Jennifer Jason Leigh in my opinion!

More
SirPant
Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

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