Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rachel Getting Married

How to describe Jonathan Demme's new work, what with all the quirks that you would expect, but actually a devastating backstory. Oh and Anne Hathaway in her finest performance. Hathaway plays the the titlular character's formerly drug-addled sister Kym in such a way that speaks mediums. I really doubt that Hathaway can do better than this. She plays Kym as an attention hog, a desperate, emotionally torn black sheep who does all she can, purposefully and accidentally, to ruin everything and make a unique wedding weekend a total mess. Demme knows how to play this up, and makes Jenny Lumet's fully-developed character something more. It is safe to say that Hathaway makes the movie. Beyond her, the movie is still very strong. Rosmarie Dewitt ("Mad Men") less drastically but still not-so-subtly plays the title character, who is indeed tying the knot, to TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe as Sidney, and also is letting out all of her bottled up anger onto her recently rehab-released sister. Also, Bill Irwin (Mr. Noodle of "Sesame Street" and Tom Snout of "A Midsummer Night's Dream) provides a lot of the film's comic relief and also a lot of the film's tears as the overprotective father, weird and normal at the same time, stealing the scenes he's in to a certain extent (as he can't really top Hathaway). Also, Debra Winger steps in as Irwin's ex-wife, also quite (as others said) "emotionally taut", who is also very good in a good supporting performance. Adebimpe is also a comic relief, as he sings Neil Young's timeless "Unknown Legend" atop the altar. And I haven't even gotten to the numerous cameos by singers in fabulous musical performances, supplying music as there is no score and I'm glad there isn't. The film is very personal, especially with Declan Quinn's ("Pride and Glory," "Get Rich or Die Tryin'") crazy (as Owen Gleiberman and Ebert said) "handheld cinematography" that works wonders and is just great. As is Lumet's script and, again, Demme's top-notch directing. Also, it really would be unfair if Hathaway didn't get a Best Actress nod and I'm even going as far to say it might be unfair if she doesn't actually take the statue home on Oscar Night. Why? Because it is a job very well done. You can feel the air being sucked out of the room every time she enters and everything shifts from casual to crisis when she is involved. One last note: the film's trailer is no indication of how the movie is. It is to attract the same audience as the next Hathaway project "Bride Wars," because that audience would not want to see a film that heavy. Speaking of "Bride Wars," I hope that doesn't derail Hathaway's chances of Oscar Gold like "Norbit" did for the 2006 frontrunner Eddie Murphy, who had it all but sealed up but then Alan Arkin pulled away with the Best Supporting Actor award. Bottom line: One of the best films of the year and proof that 2008 could very well be like 2007. A

Rachel Getting Married has a disturbing depiction, and some sexuality.

1 comment:

aspergiansarah said...

I felt bad for the father. He was trying SO hard and watching the family unit collapse. I can't remember the little brother's name, but I can see why Kym acted like such a head case throughout. I can't imagine having such a guilt complex. Enough self-loathing already, thanks.