Saturday, December 22, 2007

Margot at the Wedding

Last night we went out and hit a double header last night and started with Noah Baumbach's follow-up to "The Squid and the Whale".

As I left the film, I felt that it was pretty good, though not as great as "The Squid and the Whale".

"Margot at the Wedding" focuses on a specific familial breakdown in a mildly comedic way in much the same manner as Woody Allen's chamber pieces like "September", "Another Woman" and "Interiors". The more I discuss this film, the more I feel like it really stacks up against these Allen pictures. I've, for a long time, felt that Baumbach is the heir apparent in that genre of Allen picture, and I think this solidifies that theory.

I don't think he's as good as Woody Allen at it yet, but, who knows? he could get there.

The familial breakdown examined in this film revolves around Pauline's (Jennifer Jason Leigh) small wedding at the family house to lovable goof-ball Malcolm (Jack Black). Problems arise when her truly terribly sister, Margot arrives. Not only has she left her husband (played wonderfully by John Turturro as the most sympathetic least flawed character in the film) she works her hardest to disrupt everyones lives as much as possible. Really, that's the setup for the film.

And it works. The only problem with Noah Baumbach's film is that the humor and character interaction is so subtle it works on you on an almost timed delay. After we'd watched the second film of the night (Sweeney Todd, look for a review later today) and discussed it for a full twenty minutes, the conversation came back to Margot for the rest of the night. It provided such a subtle, interesting window into these characters that it gnawed on me for a while and I find myself still thinking about it.

Which is odd since my initial reaction to the film was that it was merely "pretty good." Maybe I'll have to watch it again to really sink my teeth into it one way or the other.

And it had the exact same ending as Darjeeling Limited, which was a little weird (literally dropping her baggage and running onto a moving mass transit vehicle...)

But, overall, this movie was entertaining and pretty good and the more you think about it, the better it gets.


Steven said...

You stole my "Darjeeling" connection, but I forgive you.

fever said...

Funny, everyone gets a name mention except for Margot, herself, Nicole Kidman! Ridiculous oversight!