Saturday, March 7, 2009

On my laptop: Rachel Getting Married

I've decided that my movie reviews are too long. I think I give useful feedback about the quality of the film, but my plot synopsis is way too long. As such, you can expect much shorter and more concise reviews in the future.

Rachel Getting Married. Kym is a recovering drug addict who has been in and out of rehab for ten years. She is given a one-day pass from a treatment program that seems to be working so that she can attend her sister's wedding.

For such a simple plot, the film is extremely complex. It examines Kym's relationship with her father, her sister, and her absent mother, and we slowly learn details about the family's past that give insight on how they came to be such a dysfunctional group. Every dialogue-filled moment of this film kept my interest peaked and my emotions on high, and I found myself empathizing with all of the characters: Kym, who has been the center of her father's attention since she entered rehab; Rachel, who should be in the spotlight, at least on her wedding day; Carol, the sisters' ever-present stepmother who looks like the quintessential second wife. Anne Hathaway's performance as Kym is without question Oscar-worthy, and having seen The Reader, I think Hathaway deserved the Best Actress win over Kate Winslet.

The cinematography in this movie is extremely well-done. The scenes all seem to be shot in one take, sometimes from multiple camera angles, sometimes from one, but always revealing the full extent of emotions from the characters. The placement of the camera during certain scenes makes the viewer feel like part of the story: in one scene, it points up at someone who has stood to make a toast, making the viewer feel like a guest at the table; in another scene, the camera is outside a window looking in, giving the impression of an outsider observing a very private conversation.

One last thing I want to mention is how the writers and director incorporated music into the film: instead of a typical soundtrack where music can be heard from an imaginary stero, live performances are featured throughout the movie, functioning as the "background music" for most scenes.

From beginning to end, Rachel Getting Married is truly a fantastic film. I highly recomment it to anyone looking for a group movie to discuss after viewing.


K and/or K said...

I loved this movie from start to finish. So intense. It made me really feel for everyone.

red said...

This comes out on DVD tomorrow and I can't wait to finally see it!