The Family that frays together…
What do you get when you reunite two high maintenance sisters after years of not speaking to each other? Higher maintenance.
Margot (Nicole Kidman) and her son, Claude (Zane Pais) travel from Manhattan to Long Island, to attend the wedding of Margot’s sister, Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to shiftless musician wannabe, Malcolm (Jack Black), whom Margot does not approve of.
Written and directed by Noah Baumbach, MARGOT AT THE WEDDING is one of those indie films where nothing actually happens, but everything gets complicated anyway, through small secrets and past deeds woven into the fabric of the characters’ lives before the camera started rolling.
We find that author Margot has visited Pauline for a number of reasons, none of which involve the joy of seeing Pauline wed – she runs from problems in her own marriage (to John Turturro) and harbors designs on a past lover (Ciarán Hinds) who lives nearby.
Grounded in reality, the camera does not shy away from these characters in their most intimate moments, and it is a pleasure to see the movie treating sex with such casualness, rather than with sanctity or prurience. The hotness of seeing Nicole Kidman masturbating is balanced quite egregiously with seeing Jack Black naked…
The backbiting and secret-sharing and illicit love affairs fly like daggers of snarkiness; Malcolm, a slave to his emotions, gets his Jack Black on and creates laughs from thin air in a character toned down for indie consumption; some crazy neighbors figure in some eerie confrontations; eventually the dysfunctionality reaches fever pitch and – like every indie movie about family dysfunction – ends like it’s in the middle of a senten