Margot At The Wedding (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner27/02/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 92 mins

Enjoyably spiky family drama with a sharply written script and strong performances from its two leads.

What's it all about?
Writer-director Noah Baumbach follows up his excellent The Squid and the Whale with another darkly funny tale of a dysfunctional family. Nicole Kidman plays Margot, a Manhattanite who brings her young teenage son Claude (Zane Pais) to their family home in the country, in order to attend the wedding of her sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh).

However, the sibling rivalry between Margot and Pauline quickly rears its ugly head, particularly when Margot decides that Pauline could do better than her fiance Malcolm (Jack Black), who seems to be a bit of a loser. And things only get worse when Margot's husband (John Turturro) shows up unexpectedly.

The Good
The performances are excellent - Nicole Kidman is perfectly cast as the bossy, slightly uptight Margot and she generates a sparky chemistry with Jennifer Jason Leigh (Baumbach's real life partner) that is both believable and affecting. Jack Black is equally good as Malcolm, toning down his usual manic comedy schtick and delivering a likeable performance that is surprisingly sensitive.

Baumbach’s script contains several delightful scenes and offhand moments, such as the two sisters laughing maniacally about something horrible, or the film's key sequence where Margot sets out to prove that she can still climb the tree in the back garden. However, you can't help but wonder about Baumbach's own childhood, because both this film and The Squid and the Whale seem to be competing for the world record in family dysfunction.

The Bad
The Squid and the Whale was one of the best films of 2005, so it's a little disappointing that Margot at the Wedding is neither as funny or as moving as Baumbach's previous film. In particular, the climax fails to deliver the emotional punch that you're expecting.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is an enjoyable drama that's worth seeing for the performances but it's not quite as funny or as emotionally engaging as it should have been.

Film Trailer

Margot At The Wedding (15)
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Content updated: 11/12/2017 22:42

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