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 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.
Turning her back on her wealthy, established family, Diane Arbus falls in love with Lionel Sweeney, an enigmatic mentor who introduces Arbus to the marginalized people who help her become one of the most revered photographers of the twentieth century.
Robert Downey Jr.,
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
Noah Baumbach considered finding another location for the production, because he feared the tree would be seen as symbolic of a "family tree". See more »
When Margot secretly talks to Dick on her cell phone, at times, you can hear Nicole Kidman's Australian accent, especially when she says "Saturday." 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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While I was less enthusiastic about "The Squid and the Whale" than most, it clearly had it merits. In particular director Noah Baumbach obviously worked extremely well with his actors, drawing fine performances from all. Its not surprising that actors took note of this new talent on the block. To their credit, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jack Black all worked for way below their usual fees, simply to do this movie with Baumbach.
All three turn in great performances. There's no doubt about that. The thing is when all is said and done, watching dysfunctional families is not necessarily riveting viewing. At some point you ask yourself, do I really need to see this? "Margot at the Wedding" leaves you with very little other than the performances.
Watching people act out is not art. There really has to be more than this.
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