Rachel Getting Married


Went to see this last night and absolutely loved it, by far my favourite Oscar nom film this year - though I am going to watch Milk and Frost/ Nixon this weekend, so things could change! There is so much to look at in this film, the attention to detail is fantastic and I definitely going to steal some of the Buchanon’s home decorating ideas for my place.

Hathaway is the only “star” in a Hollywood sense and she is brilliant, a far cry from Disney princesses or ‘comedy’ spy associate. The first time since Brokeback Mountain when you can really believe Hathaway is interested in acting and not in fame. She comfortably fits the indie film scene and she was a pleasure to watch.

The relationships and emotions of the characters all revolve around Kim’s (Hathaway) dark past. As the narrative unravels, the family tragedy is not as clear-cut as it seems. The family hang in the balance between blame and forgiveness not knowing what to do to move on. And for Kim, no closure, just continuing limbo both scrutinised and shunned.

The script is genius and very realistic, achieving a good equilibrium between things that need to be said (to move the plot) and things which are not, (because no-one ever would). The audience has to fill in the gaps, just as a real observer of the scene would. It’s not handed to you on a plate, and that’s just fine. Conversations undulate between fraught screaming matches to giggling, sisterly childhood reflections. This dichotomy between blame and forgiveness, between siblings and parents is fascinating, you’re always waiting for everyone to explode –sometimes they do, sometimes the atmosphere is cut dead, left flat, un-resolved.

The pivotal scene in the film is where Kim confronts her distant and artificial mother. Previously an ex-rehab inmate of Kim’s reveals she had been lying about the root of her additions. Confronting her mother, Kim shows the audience the selfish abandonment and irresponsibility of her mother who’s happy for Kim to shoulder all the blame. It’s then we understand Kim doesn’t forgive herself for Ethan’s death, but she doesn’t blame herself either. Maybe her sister and father understand this too, and that’s why they don’t blame her but don’t forgive her either. At the end of the scene you believe she will fulfil her destiny and career off the edge of the cliff, but just like the tense conversations, the scene cut’s short and lies flat, sad and poignant. You almost want her to end it, rather than hang in the balance forever.

Music in the film is very organic; it flows around the characters from within the characters. No score, just the guest musicians jamming and twiddling in the background. It’s a nice trick, and just as the audience might be tiring of their ever audible presence so too do the characters, asking, in one scene, politely but firmly that they shut it.

Best scenes: Kim’s self obsessed attention seeking wedding speech and the wedding when Samuel sings.

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