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Margot at the Wedding (2007)

tomatometer

52

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 163
Fresh: 85 | Rotten: 78

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

62

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 39
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 15

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

audience

40

liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 21,786

My Rating

Movie Info

Margot at the Wedding, writer/director Noah Baumbach's follow-up to his Oscar-nominated The Squid and the Whale, stars Nicole Kidman as Margot, a woman who travels with her son to the wedding of her sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh). The relationship between the two siblings has never been harmonious, a situation that is exacerbated when Margot discovers she cares very little for her sister's fiancé (Jack Black). Soon the high-strung Margot escalates a feud between her sister and the neighbors, and

R,

Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Noah Baumbach

Feb 19, 2008

$1.9M

Paramount Vantage - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (170) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (85) | 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.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop 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 IconTop Critic

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

December 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

December 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop 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.

December 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

November 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Comment (1)
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

The results aren't bruising, just numbing

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
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

July 23, 2009 Full Review Source: JWR

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

December 27, 2008 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

No one does bad parent movies better than Noah Baumbach.

September 8, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelzChannel.com | Comment (1)

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

March 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

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?

March 4, 2008 Full Review Source: The Scorecard Review
The Scorecard Review

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

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: This is London
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.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: thelondonpaper
thelondonpaper

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

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Independent
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.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Never fully coheres or convinces.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

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

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Sun Online
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.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

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.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
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.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
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.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

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.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
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

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Those expecting fresh Squid will be disappointed. With few laughs and much whining, Margot takes the fun out of dysfunctional. It's a damp squib with lots of wail.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Audience Reviews for Margot at the Wedding

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.
December 6, 2013
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.
March 22, 2012
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

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".
February 18, 2011
MrMarakai

Super Reviewer

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!
February 3, 2011
SirPant

Super Reviewer

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