Rachel Getting Married (15)

Film

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jan 20 2009

The defection of scrappy young indie turk Demme to the Hollywood mainstream disappointed many: it’s a long downhill march from the wise and unpredictable ‘Something Wild’ to the cautious tedium of ‘Philadelphia’. But after a half-decade honing his skills as a documentarian, the director is back where he belongs with a freewheeling, fiercely independent comedy drama.

Anne Hathaway is smartly cast as Kym, the straight-talking black sheep on furlough from rehab to attend her sister’s wedding. The first half is structured as a series of blazing rows, as one by one the family members lose their patience and lash out at the thoughtless Kym. The second half – the big day itself – shows these old wounds healing, as forgiveness overcomes rancour.

Jenny Lumet’s script is well constructed and unflinching in its depiction of family trauma, but it’s Demme’s approach that sets the film apart. Improvising much of the dialogue and all the camera moves, he creates a loose, strikingly intimate sense of captured reality that forces the audience into the action. Even the music is exclusively diegetic, with old lags like Robyn Hitchcock and Sister Carol East providing a wildly diverse soundtrack to the celebrations.

‘Rachel Getting Married’ is not for everyone: it’s overlong, unfocused and as smugly middle class as an episode of ‘My Family’. But those who surrender to Demme’s disarming, almost participatory technique will find themselves overwhelmed, exhilarated and inspired by the eternal possibilities of cinema.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jan 23, 2009

Duration:

113 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|16
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John Cooper

Not a five-star film and to give it this rating is pretentious, and irresponsible. However, it is a subtle film and, although tedious in its insistence on realism, it is perceptive in its portrayal of a young woman coming to terms with great personal tragedy. . . But be warned the director devotes a ten minute section of this film to people putting plates in a dishwasher.

michael

Well Done Time Out to stand up for this film which is NOT a crowd pleaser. It is a fiction film shot with Demme's Documentary skills. It is a family portrait which will tend to alter our expectations of how fiction is photographed, with apologies to viewers who are "allergic" to handheld cameras. We will watch this film [along with other experiments like Timecode] in film studies of the future. Cineastes will enjoy many of its virtues; easily bored viewers need not apply.

Dan

Beautiful performances, and masterful, bravely structured script and direction. I'm normally very impatient, but wasn't bored once.

Dan

Beautiful performances, and masterful, bravely structured script and direction. I'm normally very impatient, but wasn't bored once.

al

I saw this movie, despite it not showing anywhere in Hull, and thought it was pretty damn good. I enjoyed the cinematography which made it feel like a documentary and made it all feel very natural and i enjoyed seeing Anne Hathaway as your usual rich girl disappointment junkie. I thought this brilliantly built up to the gradual discovery of a major accident, that has clearly torn a family apart and left it very disfunctional. These parts of the film were great, however i cant say i enjoyed the different cultures aspect to the film and didnt understand why they had chosen to put every culture under the sun and all their different music in it or why it was necessary. I didn't enjoy these bits and it didnt feel very realistic. I think it would have been better left as a domestic tragedy that gradually builds up, eg the confrontation with the mother and the car crash, as is seen so often in these rich seemingly perfect neighborhoods. I did not think these elements blended and had the music been left out would have reduced the issue of the length. However it was a good little film

didi

Actually, as anyone who has seen Festen will agree, the filming style and direction was not unique. I suppose it makes a change from your average hollywood form, but it goes on way too long. Too long. People were walking out, and it felt like 3 hours, though I don't believe it was... Interesting material though. Can't believe Time Out gave it that many stars.

Joe

Well, would have to disagree with you there Marin! Every story or work of fiction is "contrived", the author makes it up. You object to this "art" movie without really saying why. Is the movie "pretentious" simply because a different technique is employed by the director? Is there only one way of shooting a film? Clearly, the point here, was to depict the drama in the most lifelike way possible, by using unstructured direction and dialogue, and clearly, you've missed the point! And I can't understand why you're put off by a multiethnic cast, as if it's somehow unrealistic. You don't like some of the more ordinary or mundane scenes in the film, but that's why it works. By showing all the details, quirks, mannerisms etc. of the main characters, in various settings, a far more striking effect is achieved. You are drawn closer in. If this film is still on in your area go see it, and Marin you should definitely watch it again!

Joe

Well, would have to disagree with you there Marin! Every story or work of fiction is "contrived", the author makes it up. You object to this "art" movie without really saying why. Is the movie "pretentious" simply because a different technique is employed by the director? Is there only one way of shooting a film? Clearly, the point here, was to depict the drama in the most lifelike way possible, by using unstructured direction and dialogue, and clearly, you've missed the point! And I can't understand why you're put off by a multiethnic cast, as if it's somehow unrealistic. You don't like some of the more ordinary or mundane scenes in the film, but that's why it works. By showing all the details, quirks, mannerisms etc. of the main characters, in various settings, a far more striking effect is achieved. You are drawn closer in. If this film is still on in your area go see it, and Marin you should definitely watch it again!

Joe

Saw this film yesterday and, clearly, it is not going to appeal to everyone. I found the story and style interesting; if you have the patience to sit through the film you might find it to be both powerful and moving. Deals with unsettling themes and the script and directing style are actually very original. Some of the other reviews are funny, some people will walk out on this film, but if you go with an open mind you will probably think it's a very good film.

Joe

Saw this film yesterday and, clearly, it is not going to appeal to everyone. I found the story and style interesting; if you have the patience to sit through the film you might find it to be both powerful and moving. Deals with unsettling themes and the script and directing style are actually very original. Some of the other reviews are funny, some people will walk out on this film, but if you go with an open mind you will probably think it's a very good film.

debbie chapman

This is the worst film I've seen for a while -I forced myself to watch an hour-tried to fall asleep, but had to leave as the story was so boring and disjointed. I agree with all the reviews here who all seem to agree it's one to avoid. Anne Hathaway hasn't had a good time lately this dive bombed and Bride Wars was cheesy and awful too.

Christian

IFor the first time in my life I left the movie theatre after 45 minutes. tedious, boring, uninspiring in other words not recommended/

mg duke

T a tedious movie, half-baked, pseudo-intellectual, holier-than-thou, nauseous to watch. insipid, remarkably unintelligent characters, whose lives the writer tries to spice by backfilling bits of lurid and nasty melodrama. the filmmaker tries to counterfeit a veneer of verismo by tossing unprepared actors against claustrophobic walls hoping something will stick, and shooting the mess through a spasmodic handheld camera in grotesque close-ups in an annoying attempt to pretend that the audience in being carried into the middle of nitty-gritty life, whereas, in fact, nothing real or interesting or worth watching is going on. i walked out. he comment you type in this box will appear on the site

argex

A dogma movie. Very much Von Triers in the 90s or "Festen" . Great, great acting. All the cast. Worth of seeing. However it left me with a light sense of shallowness. Have you seen a secret that is on now? Another story about a family and its secret but so much more deep in my opinion.

Ariane

It is a great film. It is an invitation to travel inside your family's inner soul, makes you remember that not all families work and truly care about each other. I guess I always took mother's and father's love for granted. I did not know Anne Hathaway could really act. She is great.