Friday, January 23, 2009

Rachel Getting Married: Rachel Gets Married in Rachel Getting Married

Anne Hathaway is a completely different actress. Or, Anne Hathaway is in a completely better role than I've ever seen her in before. As Kym, a recovering drug addict getting out of rehab just in time for her sister Rachel's wedding, she plays an attention whore, a scared little girl, a raving lunatic, and a chic as hell accidental murderer. Excellently. I know she's not going to win the Best Actress award, but she deserves the nomination.

Rachel Getting Married was great. Being about a dysfunctional family and a wedding, I couldn't help but compare it to Margot at the Wedding, Noah Baumbach's 2007 feature. I compare it to that, but instead of showing the horrible, self-centeredness of humanity, it showed the humanity of humanity, touching equally on the caring and uncaring, and creating very true feeling relationships between the characters.

The entire cast is fantastic, really. Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, one of my favoriter modern bands, adorables as Rachel's nerdy, nervous fiance. Rachel herself is also very good. Bill Irwin as the girls' father should be up for a Best Supporting Actor award, because he is the most believable portrayl of a father desperately in love with his grown-up-too-fast daughters. I felt for him. I felt for them. I'm noticing more and more how important acting is to me, and when it's good, it makes the film for me.
These days it seems like a third of all movies coming out are making huge bounds in the use of handycam. This whole movie appeared to have been shot without a tripod. Everything is very shakey, very slight zooms are in abundance, and the best racking focus shot I've seen outside of the trailer for 500 Days of Summer is employed. The hand-heldness of Married made the film feel very intimate, almost like the audience was being shown an actual wedding video. I approve.
Also, this was directed by the guy that did The Silence of the Lambs AND Philadelphia. Talk about street cred. Jonathan Demme. That's the name. Good work, Demme. Good work.

Finally my 'best of 2008' list is able to flesh out. The great films of last year almost completely passed me by. I think I'm exaggerating. And Alex, sorry to have typed all this up after discussing basically all the same points with you. You're one of the only readers. Also, now there are more recent reviews. Enough of that musty old French.

- Eric T. Voigt, Not a Hath-Hater

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