Sunday, December 7, 2008

Rachel Getting Married

Movie name: Rachel Getting Married
Year of release: 2008
Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Debra Winger, Bill Irwin, Anna Deavere Smith, Mather Zickel, Anisa George
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5

Jonathan Demme is one of the most interesting directors working these days. After directing a series of interesting films, including "Something Wild", "Married to the Mob", "Philadelphia" and the terrific "Silence of the Lambs", this decade has seen him with a very modest output. His "The Truth About Charlie" (a remake of "Charade") and "The Manchurian Candidate" (another remake), both went largely unnoticed, and now he went to the indie side to present a more modest effort. Written by Jenny Lumet, "Rachel Getting Married" comes in the trail of better films that addressed family disintegration and the secrets that destroys us, which can be largely noticed in the staple that is Robert Redford's "Ordinary People" or even on a smaller scale Dan Harris' "Imaginary Heroes". Anne Hathaway plays Kym, just out of rehab and at home for her sister Rachel's wedding. Kym is a mess - in terms of Hollywood that means having spiky hair, smoking and wearing dark clothes. Everyone wants away from her, except for her dad who wants to make sure she doesn't do drugs anymore. Kym has a secret that haunts her and that is the root for her self destructive behavior. What could have been a really interesting premise, turns out to be a strangely self imploding film - Declan Quinn's camera tries to create the sense of intimacy and home movies, but it never really manages much. And that is because the story never really develops much. The real core of the movie ends up being Debra Winger, who plays the ice queen to perfection (she gives Mary Tyler Moore's character in "Ordinary People" a real brush aside). Her tension is palpable and Debra Winger captures the character perfectly. Anne Hathaway twitches but doesn't really make a character very believable. A sadly missed opportunity for what could've been a really great film.