Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Get Interrupted In Rachel Getting Married (2008)
And the best movie of 2008 done in the shaky cam style goes to the Jonathan Demme directed Rachel Getting Married (Sorry Cloverfield!).
A few days before Rachel (an impressive Rosemarie DeWitt) is set to be married her troubled sister Kym (a transformative Anne Hathaway) is released from rehab to attend. As much as Kym wants to return to a normal life, her past actions bubble up to heated moments between everyone in her family; her father Paul (a tender Bill Irwin) tries desperately to keep it all together.
Shot in a “family movie” shaky cam style, Rachel Getting Married manages to make the now begrudged form into something fresh and interesting again. The camera chases Kym as she fast-talks and indecisively let’s loose during some inappropriate but understandable times. During a pre-wedding dinner, the cameras hand-held nature increases the tension tenfold than any static shots could induce.
I must spend some time talking about Anne Hathaway here. She loses herself so purely into the role. Half the time I didn’t even know it was her. It isn’t that she so much sheds her good girl image (she did that in Brokeback Mountain when she showed her tits), it’s that none of her past work or personal life come into play. She is Kym and only Kym here.
This film is all about interrupted moments of life. Moments don’t rise and fall like traditional film structures; arguments get deflated, laughs turn to tears and catharsis is short lived. There is a scene when Rachel starts to call Kym out on her attention grabbing behavior, but before Kym can call out Rachel on her manipulative attitude, Rachel announces she’s having a baby. Similar moments like this happen again and again reminding me of the fleeting nature of emotion.
Props to Jenny Lumet (Daughter of the great Sidney Lumet) for creating a tightly wound screenplay that for its particularly loose nature stays incredibly focused and hits home in all the right (if sometimes uncomfortable) places.
Jonathan Demme, the ringleader of it all has made a finely crafted piece that never feels cliché, melodramatic or forced. Anne Hathaway has given a powerful performance and her fellow castmates never back down either. Rachel Getting Married is an intimate film that shows how subtle dramatic and joyous moments play out in real life with friends and family.
Rachel Getting Married on IMDB