Friday, March 27, 2009

Rachel Getting Married (Jonathan Demme, 2008)

****½
USA



Jonathan Demme and Jenny Lumet assemble a dysfunctional-family-sized lunatic orgy of profoundly insulated, self-absorbed people and simmer it into a sober, pulsing, humanist slice of Dogme. Effortlessly they secure your patience and compassion even for several flaky personages you wouldn't hesitate to punch in real life.

In fact, it's downright disorienting that nobody seems to be excoriating the Buchmans for their over-privilege and hollow pretences to multi-culti-exoticism. But then the core of this elegant rarity among indie dramedies that set out to wage war on contemporary American upper-financial-bracket living isn't a collection of hipster jabs at the expensive and irrelevant surface. It's about the multitude of often contradictory notes that define a family dynamic. The delicate and the volatile, the cautious and the explosive, the healing and the scarring, the generous and the chilling: Demme, Lumet and their incandescent cast find ways to encompass it all.

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