Rachel Getting Married reviews

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Damien
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Postby Damien » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:08 pm

--flipp525 wrote:
--Damien wrote:
--Eric wrote:Just when I thought our sensibilities couldn't diverge any more, along comes 2008 and my #1/#2 combo of Wall-E and this.

I still love and respect you, Eric. :laugh: (Haven't seen the cartoon, although Ralph bought it on BluRay, so it's someplace in this apartment.)

Is Ralph your "Beloved"?

Yes, and he loves Goddamn Cartoons. :D




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Postby flipp525 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:23 am

--Damien wrote:
--Eric wrote:Just when I thought our sensibilities couldn't diverge any more, along comes 2008 and my #1/#2 combo of Wall-E and this.

I still love and respect you, Eric. :laugh: (Haven't seen the cartoon, although Ralph bought it on BluRay, so it's someplace in this apartment.)

Is Ralph your "Beloved"?




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Postby Damien » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:22 am

--Eric wrote:Just when I thought our sensibilities couldn't diverge any more, along comes 2008 and my #1/#2 combo of Wall-E and this.

I still love and respect you, Eric. :laugh: (Haven't seen the cartoon, although Ralph bought it on BluRay, so it's someplace in this apartment.)




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Postby Eric » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:03 am

Just when I thought our sensibilities couldn't diverge any more, along comes 2008 and my #1/#2 combo of Wall-E and this.

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Postby Damien » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:02 am

Probably the worst film so far of the 21st Century (although, admittedly, I haven't seen anything Mike Leigh has inflicted upon the world in the last 9 years).



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Postby Mister Tee » Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:45 pm

There's an awful lot I like -- even love -- about this movie. It's hands-down the most deeply felt grown-up film I've seen this year. Demme gets us close in, making us feel the pleasures of family (the camaraderie of the rehearsal dinner, even to the sensual joy of passing food around), much of the pain (any of several arguments), and all those areas in-between. He gives us a complicated family dynamic and lets us pick it up on the run -- many key facts are made clear late; some (like the relationship with Winger's mother charcater) are indicated only obliquely. And almost every moment of the film feels fantastically alive: the happy patches made me giddy; painful ones (like Hathaway's toast) made me avert my eyes the way I would were I encountering such a scene in life.

My problem, and it's a not insignificant one: while the plotting as a whole is decent, there are a few major elements that come right from the Playhouse 90 school of dramaturgy. The less damaging (because it occupies less screen time) was the all-too-convenient hairdresser-conveying-important-overheard-information scene. There HAD to have been a better way to get that data onscreen. But far worse was the Ethan backstory. On its own it was uninspired material -- and exploitive, as the death of a small child naturally is -- but having Hathaway confess it where she did could have limited the damage. When it turned up again, though, at the end of the dishwasher scene -- a scene that had been going wonderfully well -- the film simply crashed for me, both for the ludicrous coincidence of the plate and the double-underlining of clearly sentimental material. (And even after that, the script gilded the lily one more time by showing us those angelic pictures at the end) It's a tribute to how good much of the film is that I was able to trudge past these problems and still feel as positive as I did.

I'm with BJ, that Hathaway is a very likely nominee -- Hollywood types are surely thrilled that "our Annie" has pulled herself out of fluff and flexed dramatic muscles, a la Elisabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas -- but she stays in the ensemble a good bit of the time, and isn't the most formidable candidate to win. I also very much liked DeWitt and Irwin, and wouldn't be surprised if either made the supporting rosters. I think the casting of Winger is important for the film -- the mother seems something of an emotional key to the family, yet the character has so little screen-time that what she's denied her daughters must be conveyed pretty much between the lines. This is something at which Winger has always excelled, and she makes that last scene work in a way that a lesser actress might not have (many would have overdone the iciness, a la Mary Tyler Moore in Ordinary People). That said...as much as I've loved Winger these many years, it wouldn't be fair to nominate her for support and leave DeWitt out, when DeWitt's role has so any more colors.

My only other quibble with the film is, Demme lets the story get a little lost in music after the marriage ceremony -- I found myself drifting, until the Hathaway/DeWitt/Winger scene brought it back online. However, none of that negated the many scenes I recall with pleasure: the whole wedding rehearsal, with its seemingly off-the-cuff but probably written speeches, Hathaway's clear alienation from the crowd, the tension that Hathaway will say something truly embarrassing and the relief she doesn't; the wonderfully muddled argument back at the house culminating in the pregnancy announcement (Hathaway's "It's not fair" comes off hilariously narcissistic, but she's quite correct -- DeWitt did cheat to become the focus again); DeWitt's "flowers" conversation with Winger; DeWitt and Hathaway in the tub after the wreck; and the up note of the ending, which lets Kym go her way and focuses at last on Rachel, the one who's not doing everything to wreck her own life. All these scenes make the film a pleasure despite its flaws.

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Postby barrybrooks8 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:53 pm

I thought the third thing you mentioned was humongously fake. Like the word humongously.
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Postby Okri » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:34 pm

Everything.

MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW. MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW

The scene that I keep coming back to when revisiting the film in my mind is one of the confrontations about the dead son, and Irwin utters "It was just an accident" twice. His line reading is so fragile you can just feel his heart break under the weight of what is said.

Or in his speech to the "in-law" family at the wedding - "we love you."

Or his discovery that he's gonna be a grandfather - such a pure expression of joy in his face and body.

It's such an emotionally generous performance (in an emotionally generous film) - not scene stealing perhaps, but scene sharing. I believed instantly that he was the patriarch of this sprawling brood and loved every minute of his performance.

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Postby barrybrooks8 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:52 pm

I'm not trying to be contrary, I am actually just curious. What part about his performance was outstanding to you?
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Postby Okri » Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:10 pm

Wow - Bill Irwin may have given my favourite performance of the year.

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Postby barrybrooks8 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:42 pm

I really wanted to like it, and I may still like it. My initial reaction is irritated. Anne Hathaway was okay, her performance was restrained and honest. Rosemarie Dewitt was by far my favorite in the film. If Debra Winger is nominated, it will be a waste. It was illuminating to see her on-screen (especially her entrance), but her time is short, and none of her scenes are very meaty. And Bill Irwin, ack, was terrible and horribly miscast. He did not fit with this family at all. I did enjoy his wife, Anna Devere Smith, a wonderful character actress who will hopefully get her chance in the lead. The musical/reception/speech scenes were way too long. I would enjoyed more sister interaction.
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Postby Sabin » Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:12 am

(exhausted)

'Rachel Getting Married' isn't perfect. It's too much fun for that. The film is a gruelingly therapeutic celebration, an experience, and I'll be astonished if Jonathan Demme doesn't pick up a small bevy of critic's trophies. He's the true MVP, staging Rachel Buchman's wedding like a 2076 Fourth of July celebration. I won't hear any complaints about a too all-embracing panorama of ethnicities in 'Rachel Getting Married'. These characters have all come to grips with the shock of multi-ethnic engagement prior to the wedding if such an incident occurred at all, and so should we.

The cinematography is inspired by Dogme but is as intricately staged as a Dardenne Bros. film, always landing on the perfect moment as if intricately calculated, and the editing choices are bold but earned. Anne Hathaway is a lock for a nomination; although Demme deserves a lion's share of praise for transcending the limitations of Jenny Lumet's admittedly fairly canny script, the screenwriter is very conscientious about dolling out Diablo Cody-worthy (in the best and worst ways) quips for the self-destructive Kym and showing us why she is such a compulsive attention hog, always judging her if not condemning or hating her. I have no problem with the occasionally too-smart comeback in 'Rachel Getting Married'.

I loved Bill Irwin in this role. You sense that this man has been through myriad disappointments in life and has settled into happiness at long last and he has a giddy sense of celebration that flies in the face of his ex wife's evasiveness. More could be done between him and Debra Winger but there is a tear-soaked joyous embrace between the two that says enough. Rosemarie DeWitt is fantastic as well in a more demure role.

The dude from TV on the Radio doesn't make as strong an impression but let it be said that "Dear Science" is the best album I've heard in years.

'Rachel Getting Married' could perhaps use a little trimming in musical sections but how can you part with such joyousness? I almost don't want to recommend this movie to people for fear of them hating it and having to judge them. I find it to be soaked in goodness.




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Postby FilmFan720 » Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:08 pm

I'm glad to see Bill Irwin getting some due...he is a national treasure, and underused cinematically if you ask me.
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Postby flipp525 » Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:49 pm

I haven't seen Rachel Getting Married yet, but I'd like to echo your sentiments regarding Anne Hathaway, BJ. I think she's a wonderful actress who hasn't really gotten the chance to show what she's truly capable of (sounds like her role as Kym is a move in the right direction in that regard). Great performances in Brokeback and The Devil Wears Prada.

Her stint on Saturday Night Live last night was really good, too, by the way. She did a parody on Mary Poppins that was extremely funny and she brought a consummate actorly craft to every sketch she was in. Easily the best host they've had this season.

It's the type of film people here have probably seen a lot of: family members get together for an event, nasty truths about the characters' pasts are revealed, plenty of parent-child/sibiling feuds erupt, etc. There's no real new ground broken here.

You should read "August: Osage County". It takes a relatively fully-mined scenario such as you describe above and finds something completely new and interesting in it.




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Postby The Original BJ » Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:36 pm

I liked Rachel Getting Married, in kind of a low-key way. It's the type of film people here have probably seen a lot of: family members get together for an event, nasty truths about the characters' pasts are revealed, plenty of parent-child/sibiling feuds erupt, etc. There's no real new ground broken here.

And yet I know I've long been waiting for the film that seems to signal the beginning of adult movie season, and so, in that regard, the film delivers. Jonathan Demme's intimate camerawork brings out the humanity in all the characters by emphasizing a very believable family dynamic -- at times you really feel like the camera is just eavesdropping on these people's lives.

A big credit for this effect belongs to the cast; this is the type of film it seems ensemble awards for created for. All of the actors -- Irwin, a very fine Rosemarie DeWitt, Winger in her brief standout moments, even Anna Deveare Smith in a totally thankless role -- do impressive ensemble work. This can be the type of film that is often overlooked in supporting categories, as there's no scene-stealer, but I could see with the right push a nomination somewhere.

That's a bit how I feel about Anne Hathaway as well. It's clearly the type of "wow, she can act!" role that has often gotten starlets awards-attention in the past. Yet the actress never tries to showboat moments that don't belong to her character, and even fades into the ensemble when appropriate. I think this is a strength of her performance -- particularly given that her character's tragic/funny/nasty/sexy trajectory could easily run like a bull in a china shop through the film did the actress not know when to rein it in. At the same time, I find it difficult to see Hathaway becoming the best actress frontrunner given the ensemble nature of the work -- it's not the type of star turn that usually wins Best Actress. A nomination seems likely, though. And more power to her: I thought she was excellent in Brokeback, and it's nice to see there's more to her as a performer than just these silly comedies.


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