Margot and her son Claude decide to visit her sister Pauline after she announces that she is marrying less-than-impressive Malcolm. In short order, the storm the sisters create leaves behind a mess of thrashed relationships and exposed family secrets.
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A story that follows as a New York woman (who doesn't really have an apartment) apprentices for a dance company (though she's not really a dancer) and throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possibility dwindles.
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A slice of family life: sisters, husbands, children, history, secrets, jealousies. Margot and her teen son, Claude, travel from Manhattan to her family's Long Island home, occupied by sister Pauline, Pauline's daughter, and Malcolm, the slacker Pauline will marry outdoors that week under a tree neighbors want removed. Backbiting marks family discussion, particularly between the sisters and in Margot's cutting remarks to Claude. Pauline tells Margot a secret that Margot promptly tells Claude. Margot dislikes Malcolm and undermines him. She also has marital problems and a lover nearby. People are cruel, inside and outside their families. Is there a refuge for Margot or for Pauline? Written by
Several outlets claimed that the character of Claude was an autobiographical figure of director Noah Baumbach. However, he denies this and claims he identifies more with Margot and had a lot of empathy for her. See more »
Malcolm has trouble recollecting the bassist for Motley Crue, and then remembers that it's Mick Mars. The bass player for Motley Crue is actually Nikki Sixx, although this mistake could have been intentional to further convey the forgetfulness. See more »
You know, Pauline told me she's very disappointed in you.
She thinks you laze about the house. Ingrid is always offering to help clean or cook. She made bracelets for all the guests. Even Malcolm puts up the tent. You just wait until everyone else does it for you.
That's not true.
It is true. I wish I taught you better manners...
I can try to make pop-overs. If I remember how...
[She looks at him with grave disappointment]
Why are you looking at me like that?
I just see how ...
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Margot at the Wedding (2007), was written and directed by Noah Baumbach. The family in this film makes the family in Baumbach's "Squid and the Whale" look like the the Waltons. They are very strange people.
Margot (Nicole Kidman) and her sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) come together before Pauline's marriage to Malcolm (Jack Black). The plot outline refers to Malcolm as "less than impressive." I would agree, although you could make the case that even though he's a loser, he's a lovable loser. (I don't see it, but maybe Pauline does.)
Margot is a destructive person. She manages to drag everyone down to her depressed level, especially her son Claude and her sister Pauline. (Claude has problems of his own, but they aren't helped by his mother, who is in turn loving and supportive and then hostile and destructive.)
Suspension of disbelief is demanded here. Pauline and Margot have a long talk about how they are no longer physically desirable, and so they'll have to settle for any man that will have them. Has Baumbach looked at Nicole Kidman? I know he's looked at Jennifer Jason Leigh, because she's his wife. Pauline and Margot may have to settle for less-than-ideal men, but not on the basis of their unattractiveness. (Neurosis, yes; unattractiveness, no.)
We saw this movie in a theater, but it should work well on DVD. It's worth seeing if you enjoy films about pathological relationships. The acting was solid, and the camera work was interesting. Just don't expect Beaver Cleaver and his family.
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