Kym (Anne Hathaway): You're a lawyer?
Kieran (Mather Zickel): Was. For about five minutes.
Kym: Say something Legal.
At a glance:
Anne Hathaway scored a much-deserved Best Actress nomination for her role as a struggling drug addict who emerges from rehab to participate in the full-on wedding of her sister Rachel
Written by Jenny Lumet (daughter of acclaimed director Sidney Lumet) and directed by Jonathan Demme, Rachel Getting Married has a title that would lead one to believe it is a lighthearted comedy. True, there is a joyous wedding, and there is a cornucopia of music, but there is also a very serious, moving story of a woman in crisis and a family that is dealing with grief.
Kym (Anne Hathaway) has just returned home from rehab to find herself in the midst of full-scale preparations for her sister Rachel’s wedding. The house has been invaded by dozens of planners, musicians, friends, and the groom-to-be. It’s not a good time for Kym to be trying to complete the final stages in her 12-step program. Kym tries to cope with her family, and they with her, but beneath the surface, and sometimes bubbling up to that surface, there is anger, guilt, resentment, and fear. The source of these feelings is not completely clear at the start; something momentously sad happened; it is hinted at, mentioned, but not fully explained. In some ways, we get to feel similar emotions to those of the characters; angst, tension, worry. There’s no happy ending here; not really, anyway, but there is an appreciation of the fleeting joy that the promise of love brings, and there is the hope that accompanies a family that is trying to heal its wounds.
Rachel Getting Married is a special film. It isn’t perfect – the wedding scene probably goes on for too long – but its Altman-esque style of film-making combined with the structure of the story made me feel involved in the drama – and let’s face it, that doesn’t always happen at the movies.
Anne Hathaway gives an atypical performance and richly deserves her Best Actress nomination. She is well-supported by Rosemarie DeWitt as Rachel, and also Mather Zickel, Bill Irwin, and Debra Winger.
Other reviewers said:
"Those who surrender to Demme’s disarming, almost participatory technique will find themselves overwhelmed, exhilarated and inspired by the eternal possibilities of cinema."
-Tom Huddlestone (Time Out)
"It's not Demme's most polished film, granted – but dysfunction is all the more piercing when you don't put a gloss on it."
-Tim Robey (Daily Telegraph)