Monday, March 9, 2009

Rachel Getting Married

ALMOST: (Jonathan Demme) When Anne Hathaway was nominated for an Oscar, I choked on the words and gave it my damnedest to think of how an ugly duckling turned Princess of Genovia turned NY magazine bitch turned rodeo slut could have managed a role that let her develop something enough to call her own and deservedly claim that nom. Yes, she has conquered quite a long list of varying personalities, some extremely memorable; yet none have left a lasting impression of character. She is beautiful and she is talented, and I truly believe she is on her way, but alas I still haven't come to forgiveness terms with the Academy for this. A flagrant script not quite ready for the screen, it seems, leaves Hathaway struggling to find an identity. Kim is a recovering addict, mentally disturbed and coping with the fact that she is an outcast amongst her family. And what brings everyone back together like a good old fashioned cant-find-an-ethnic-tradition-to-go-with wedding(in this case, her sister, Rachel)? This film is heavily based in dialogue, but a real-time rehearsal dinner re-enactment is not why we see movies. Neither is an hour-long ceremony completely filled with dancing and speeches. We would grasp the same point in 5 minutes. Nothing correlates. Story lines are left hanging. Characters are in and out. One might compare the chaos with the aftermath of recovery, but in this situation we are left disconnected, disengaged and utterly unmoved by the emotion that clearly eats away at this dear Kim. I 100% believe Hathaway has potential after seeing her delve into a real person for once. She has fury, she has attitude and she is unique. Yet, this script left her poorly prepared to let it all hang out via her potential. Even in the most intense of scenes I remained untouched and instead burdened by the continually increasing tally of unfinished scenes each new story brought me. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to ever comes to terms with the warble that is Rachel Getting Married. I would call it Festival-quality, but also wouldn't question its forgettable-ness. The end credits were a relief and although I look forward to Hathaway's next plot I keep remembering Bride Wars came after Rachel... so is there any hope?

2 comments:

Hayley said...

Definitely agree with your rating on this movie. The end credits would have been a relief to me as well...if I had stayed for them. This was probably the first movie I've ever walked out on.

Ann-Marie said...

Some actors are born with talent and others have to develop their talent. Anne Hathaway is definitely an actress who is in the midst of developing her talent. She showed so much potential in Rachel Getting Married, and although I do not think that she should have gotten a nomination based solely on potential, I do think that her best scene to date took place in as she desperately asked her mom why she would have ever left her alone with her younger brother. I was not only impressed but blown away at Hathaway's ability to overcome the boundary between the audience and character. How could you not feel her desperation? I do agree that the strange wedding traditions and the monotony of the speeches could have been completely deleted from the movie and no one would have missed a thing. In fact, the movie would probably be better without those strange twists. The lack of continuity in the movie was also a little bit distracting. I think the lack of continuity is to try to show how unorganized and crazy Kim's life is as she is still in crisis and recovery mode, but it needed a little something to make it part of the story instead of a distraction. Overall, Kim's story and her struggle to forgive herself struck me and left an impression on me. Her seemingly careless and selfish attitude is a front that she eventually sheds and becomes vulnerable to those around her as she genuinely wants to improve her life as well as be there for her family. It's not easy to overcome being the black sheep in the family, but she is determined to put her dysfunctional family back together.