A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
A2P Cinema 100 Films of the Aughts
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MARGOT AT THE WEDDING
2007 - Noah Baumbach - United States
97

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Margot at The Wedding is a film nearly without a plot and with characters that are unlikeable, yet there is something about this film and it's characters that make it fascinating. Perhaps it is the terrific performances of it's leads, notably the magical chemistry shared by Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh. As Pauline, Leigh is especially great and her laid back attitude seems the perfect counterpoint to Margot's (Kidman) unending nerves and bitterness. It is also Pauline's smallest glimmer of caring humanity that comes through the depressing tone of the film and the unsympathetic and moody nature of the adult characters. Margot at the Wedding is without a plot in that it captures moments of these characters lives. There are subplots involving some angry neighbors, a love affair, and confused children but ultimately nothing is ever "resolved". The symbol of the old tree that stands in the back yard and irritates the neighbors and needs to be taken down, represents a metaphor for the characters as well as the narrative structure of the film. In his fifth feature, Noah Baumbach takes the family relationships established in his previous film (The Squid and the Whale) to an even more selfish and bitter level. The film feels like a throw back to early Eric Rohmer or Woody Allen in the way it uses the communication and chemistry of actors as the core of the film. This film is by no means pleasant, but for some strange reason I sure had fun watching it.
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