Rachel Getting Married (2008)

Rachel Getting Married (2008) — “Above average” are the words to describe this movie.  “Good” doesn’t quite seem to cover it but “very good” is going too far.  The main things that elevate the movie are the smart and unconventional script by Jenny Lumet (Sid’s daughter) and the tour de force performance by Anne Hathaway (who lost the Oscar to Kate Winslet, which seems wrong but I didn’t see The Reader so whatever).  The central character Kym (the sister of the titular bride) is fresh out of rehab and though she’s kicked the drugs, she still has a whole lot of the underlying problems that led to her addiction.  She’s an egomaniac making everything (including a certain wedding) about her.  The trap that Lumet and Hathaway avoid falling in is making Kym overly likeable at the expense of humanity.  The characters are very human and even if you don’t agree with characters’ decision (which I rarely did) you can really see where they’re coming from.  The flaws of the film deal with the wedding.  It goes on too long.  The groom is a quirky musician (played by Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio) so the wedding is crawling with quirky musicians playing music constantly.  The multi-ethnic celebration takes up way too much screen time.  Another issue is the work of cinematographer Declan Quinn who must have Parkinson’s or something because he can’t hold a camera steady.  Director Jonathan Demme used to work with cinematographer Tak Fujimoto.  He should get back with Tak.  The strengths of the movie definitely outweigh the weaknesses though.

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