Rachel Getting Married (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner16/10/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 115 mins

Superbly directed, emotionally engaging drama with a terrific central performance from Anne Hathaway.

What's it all about?
Directed by Jonathan Demme, Rachel Getting Married stars Anne Hathaway as Kym, a recovering drug addict who gets out of rehab in time to attend the wedding of her sister, Rachel (Rosemary DeWitt) at the family home. Though her father (Bill Irwin) is pleased to see her, it isn't long before Kym is having a quickie with the best man (Mather Zickel), clashing with the matron of honor (Anisa George) and causing family tensions to boil to the surface.

The Good
Shot entirely on digital video with handheld cameras, the film frequently feels like a fly-on-the-wall documentary, as there's a real sense of spontaneity in the way the scenes unfold. The script is fantastic and is constantly surprising us with unpredictable character moments – Kym's speech at the rehearsal dinner, for example, is painful to watch, because both audiences (the film's and Kym's) are unsure what she's going to say next.

Anne Hathaway is sensational as Kym, masking her guilt and pain with caustic one-liners and simultaneously wanting to hide away and be the centre of attention. Her performance is by turns funny and heartbreaking to watch – in particular, she has two utterly devastating scenes that will really stay with you.

The Great
There's also terrific support from Bill Irwin, Rosemary DeWitt and Jump Tomorrow's Tunde Adebimpe (as Rachel's fiancé), while Debra Winger is perfectly cast as Kym's divorced mother, because her very presence sets up a tense atmosphere of expectation that is felt throughout the film.

With its naturalistic dialogue and free-flowing camerawork, there's a distinctly Altmanesque feel to the film (which is acknowledged in the credits) – indeed, it's hard not to be reminded of Altman's A Wedding while you're watching it. It also feels like a Dogme film, not least because of the inspired use of music (the various wedding bands practising in the background).

Worth seeing?
Rachel Getting Married is a wonderfully directed, beautifully acted and thoroughly engaging drama that packs a powerful emotional punch. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Rachel Getting Married (15)
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Content updated: 24/09/2018 08:58

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