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Rachel Getting Married (3 stars)

(15) 112min

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Rachel Getting Married

ROMANCE/DRAMA

Don’t be fooled by the soft-core title. Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme has come over all Danish for his new feature. Lifting the shaky-cam aesthetic of Thomas Vinterberg’s Dogme classic Festen, Rachel Getting Married is similarly structured around a tense family gathering.

In a classy script by Jenny Lumet, daughter of veteran director Sidney, black-sheep Kym (Anne Hathaway) is tentatively withdrawn from rehab to attend the wedding of her goody-two-shoes sister Rachel (Rosemarie De Witt). Tensions run high through the wedding rehearsals, with Kym’s family giving her the cold shoulder over past misdeeds. A seemingly innocuous disagreement brings Kym’s secret to the surface, causing a chain reaction of bitter arguments that culminates in an explosive confrontation between Kym and her mother Abby (a venomous Debra Winger).

Few directors know how to stoke emotional tension like Demme, and while Rachel Getting Married never stoops to soap-opera melodrama, it excels as a character study of a difficult but sympathetic heroine. It offers a tight adult ensemble piece, which rises to high drama from the seemingly innocuous.

General release from Fri 23 Jan.

Rachel Getting Married

  • 3 stars
  • 2009
  • US
  • 112 min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Jonathan Demme
  • Written by: Jenny Lumet
  • Cast: Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Bill Irwin, Anna Deavere Smith, Tunde Adebimpe, Debra Winger

Black-sheep Kym (Hathaway) is withdrawn from rehab to attend the wedding of her goody-two-shoes sister Rachel (De Witt). Tensions run high, with Kym's family giving her the cold shoulder over past misdeeds and an explosive secret is brought to the surface. A strong character study of a difficult but sympathetic heroine.

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