A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
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RACHEL GETTING MARRIED
2008 - Jonathan Demme - United States
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Set to the background sounds of a band rehearsing a wedding song, the opening titles of this film are slightly off center and messy. It is subtle details like this that make Rachel Getting Married such a wonderful film, which is kind of perfect mostly for its imperfections and the seemingly unscripted ease and beauty in which it flows. There may not be an American filmmaker alive today better then Jonathan Demme in capturing humanity at its most hopeful. The script is from first time writer Jenny Lumet (daughter of legendary Sidney Lumet) but this really shines in those moments that feel unscripted. Through the direction of Demme, Rachel Getting Married echoes the work of the great Robert Altman (a filmmaker Demme admired and even thanked at the end credits) in that the film relies on characters forming the "plot" rather then the other way around. This film reminds us of the rich understanding Demme brought to the American life in his wonderful early films. Of course this ensemble cast is outstanding with Anne Hathaway giving a career-defining performance. She is truly incredible here in a layered and deeply tender performance that grows deeper as the film progresses. Hathaway, Rosemarie Dewitt (sister), Bill Irwin (father), and Debra Winger (mother) all share a great chemistry and connection of tense and loving family emotions which linger throughout the film. Perhaps some pains will never heal and instead of a resolution comes an acceptance of the moment and where the moment will lead. This is where Rachel Getting Married emerges as a celebration and reflection of humanity (and all of its cultures) at its most hopeful.
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