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.
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
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 »
Paul apologizes for not coming. She's still getting the house ready.
I'm sorry it was such short notice.
I don't care. Paul's frantic, but I don't give a shit. Oh, and Ingrid wants me to tell you that she made us all bracelets.
No, I said we should wait.
I thought you asked me to tell them. Anyways, I got Knicks colours.
They're not Knicks colours!
It's beautiful, Ingrid.
Where's your dad and Josh?
They might come later.
Josh's spring break is next week, and then Jim teaches through Friday. Then he ...
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"Family quarrels are bitter things. They don't go according to any rules." F. Scott Fitzgerald
Margot at the Wedding is the heavier side of its director Noah Baumbach's Squid and the Whale and just a bit weightier than Little Miss Sunshine. Nowhere is it near the lightness of The Royal Tenenbaums, but the dysfunctional family motif hovers always close to the risible. Margot is a feast of acting seasoned with sides of family lunacy close enough to the seeming sanity of most our families.
Margot (Nichole Kidman) and her son, Claude (Zane Pais), visit her estranged sister, Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh), for Pauline's' impending marriage to immature, lovable slacker Malcolm (Jack Black). Margot, thinking Malcolm isn't worthy of Pauline, is not secret about her dislike ("He's not ugly. He's completely unattractive"). But then short-story writer Margot has never been reticent about family matters, as writing about them caused the rift with her sister many years ago.
If this story echoes Eric Rohmer's Pauline at the Beach, it is probably not a coincidence, both in title and accent on dialogue, but in no way does even Rohmer approach Baumbach's trenchant criticism of contemporary family relationships, including the tricky one between eccentric son and neurotic mom.
If for no other reason, see this family dysfunction drama to enjoy feeling superior to the downright mine field each of the characters faces daily in a family that turns back on itself in forgiveness as frequently as Britney Spears loses her kids and gains them back again. Mix in a little Freudian psychoanalysis ("What was it about Dad that had us f------ so many guys?") and East-coast sunless scenes, and you'll wish for your Thanksgiving back so you could newly appreciate its relatively low-level social WMD's and surprising humor.
Like the grainy film stock and low-key lighting, Nicole Kidman's Margot brings gloom despite her daunting beauty and witty tongue. Oh, well, that's my kind of lady, and that's my tumultuous family, ready for a Christmas turkey that should be more delectable this time around thanks to Noah Baumbach.
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