Margot at the Wedding Reviews
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".
DIRECTED AND WRITTEN BY: Noah Baumbach
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 fiancÚ--the unemployed artist Malcolm--Margot starts to plant seeds of doubt about the union. As the wedding approaches, one complication crashes into the next: vengeful neighbors, a beloved tree in the backyard and Margot's own marital turmoil. The two sisters, find themselves at the precipice of an unexpected transformation ultimately revealing that even when your family is about to implode, the one thing you can cling to for solace and comfort is your imploding family.
One of the best performances I have seen by Nicole Kidman in a long time. I liked the movie a lot. It has some funny moments, but definitely not a comedy. It's really dark. The story is light but when you take in some of the things these sister's are saying about their past, you see just exactly how gritty the movie is. I find it a bit sad actually. There is more to the story the more you think about the things these two sisters are saying. The sisters seem to hate but love and admire each other all at the same time. They can say the harshest things to each other and then follow it with a compliment. It's bizarre, but yet has truth to the way sibling relationships are. I can relate at least. Which I am not sure if that is good or not. But I like how honest the characters are with each other, even when it is hurtful. Margot at times says some awful things to her son. But yet he craved for her attention and her thoughts. Pauline is more of a kinder spirit, but just as screwed up as Margot. Both Pauline and Margot's moods are very changeable and you never know where their moods, or reactions will take you. It's very interesting to watch. Definitely one that should be watched. Nicole and Jennifer both give fantastic performances. Was pleasantly surprised by Jack Black's acting in this movie. Thought he was amazing and seemed to fit the role perfectly. I see not a lot of people liked this movie, and I can just assume from how dark and emotionally gritty this movie is that this movie may not be everyones cup of tea. But I liked it very much and hope more will see it. Baumbach seems to make these movies about these dysfunctional families and air out all their dirty laundry sort of speak. Makes me feel like I am invading someones privacy in both film's I have watched of his. Which is why he is brilliant. He makes you feel as though these characters are real. Helps that these are things real families go through but that no one wants to talk about. Very raw material. Love his work.
The movie follows the story of Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and the days preceding her marriage to her unemployed artist boyfriend Malcolm (Jack Black). Her sister Margot (Nicole Kidman) has abandoned her husband Jim (John Turturro), from whom she will soon separate for good, for the weekend and she has brought her overly intelligent and slightly odd son Claude (Zane Pais) along with her. Hilarity ensues. Kind of.
I thought that the film was well-made, funny (sometimes), uncomfortable (all the time), and very easy to react to. In other words, exactly what Baumbach wanted. Not at all a light evening at the movies, but certainly an interesting, debatable one for those who are into that sort of thing.
The acting was mediocre at best and the script was not so interesting. Jack Black brought some comedy to the film but even though I love the fella, I can't say that he fitted the part. Felt like all of the actors were half asleep but there wasn't that much heart in their performances.
I think that the filmmakers tried too much to make a thought provocing film but I've seen so many similar films made better that I really can't recommend this to everyone.