Margot and her son Claude decide to visit her sister Pauline after she announces that she is getting married to less-than-impressive Malcolm. In short order, the storm the sisters create leaves behind a mess of thrashed relationships and exposed family secrets.
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Noah Baumbach's "Interiors". Providing a difficult and often uncomfortable viewing, "Margot at the Wedding" boasts a rich tragi-comedy rooted in Freudian psychoanalysis and the influence of obsessive and neurotic behavior in a family hanging by a thread. The film features a pair of strong performances, perhaps none as striking as Nicole Kidman's, who plays a woman on the perpetual verge of a breakdown to perfection.
I like to think I see Bergman's influence, and then I remember the name Vogler and it becomes probable. In that way, it's like Cries and Whispers. It's incredible for its subtlety. Each time I see it, there's something new. I like discovering what is causing the issues, because it's never said clearly. While, yes, there is no plot, the characters interacting make the film entertaining. Kidman's performance is superb.
Baumbach is a weird screenwriter, but I can't help but finding his films very good. The characters are unusual and make unexpected choices, the running time is always really short. When you look at the plot of Margot at the Wedding, you find out that there's no plot, but more characters evolving between each other and confronting. I like the language of it, its sudden vulgarity and vulnerability of the characters.
Is this really a black comedy? I mean...REALLY? It's 90% tragedy and about 10% comedy. I can't think of a film where I hated the characters more. It was beautiful looking, the acting was good, but the script is absolutely atrocious. I just found myself furious with all of the characters except for the dog. Really disappointed with Noah Baumbach on this one...I thought it was absolutely terrible.
Noah Baumbach's excellent character piece alternates between awkward comedy and bristling drama, which lends it a kind of absurd authenticity. Superb performances by an excellent cast (after a number of mediocre blockbusters, it's sometimes easy to forget how exceptional an actress Nicole Kidman is until she does a film like this). Definitely not for all tastes, but I found it continually engrossing and surprising.
After making something insightful and interesting with THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, it's hard for me to believe I hated MARGOT AT THE WEDDING as much as I did. It was like watching a sub-Woody Allen attempt at aping the films of Ingmar Bergman. The characters aren't interesting, they're just awful. It's a vapid, boring mess that tries to convince you it has a level of intellect that just isn't there.