Rachel Getting Married

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Rachel Getting Married
Review (-/10)
(By Paul Fischer)

Director Jonathan Demme's work has always been nothing if not original, and his "Rachel Getting Married", written by Jenny Lumet [daughter of Sydney] is certainly compelling, due to the film's central performance by Anne Hathaway.

The actress stars as drug addict Kym currently in rehab, who returns to the Buchman family home for the wedding of her sister Rachel [Rosemarie DeWitt], bringing with her a long history of personal crisis and family conflict along.

The wedding Party's abundant cast of friends and relations have gathered for an idyllic weekend of feasting, music and love, but Kym -- with her black-comic one-liners and knack for bombshell drama -- is a catalyst for long-simmering tensions in the family dynamic.

"Rachel Getting Married" has been shot in a quasi-documentary style, a lot of hand-held camera movements to accentuate the film's degree of realism. It's almost too truthful in a way, to such an extent that one wonders what the audience for such a dark and sad tale really is.

However, at the film's heart lay a breathtaking performance by Hathaway who proves what a dynamic and emotionally rich actress she is. Her extraordinary work is likely to be remembered at both the Spirit and Academy Awards, and for my money, she is bound to receive one or both.

All the acting is impressive, but Lumet's script is narratively weak and lacks structure, while delving into family crises and individual self-examination. This is a tough film to sit through, and though at times sharply observed, it doesn't quite mesh together in cinematic harmony.

Yet Hathaway does deliver such a tour-de-force performance that for that reason alone, it may be worth checking out this emotionally draining piece.

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