Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rachel Getting Married

Ann Hathaway plays against type in the new film from Jonathan Demme. She plays Kim, just out of rehab and returning to her family's home for her sister Rachel's wedding. Last year Noah Baumbach gave us the similarly theme, "Margot At The Wedding" with Nicole Kidman. "Rachel" is the more realistic and emotional charged film.

Ms. Hathaway reaches into her dark places and pulls out a terrific performance as Kim. Newly sober and loaded with emotional baggage, Kim bursts into the wedding weekend like a bolt of lightning, striking down everything in her path. This is a intense family drama filled with both anger and happiness.

The film co-stars Bill Irwin and Deborah Winger as Kim's divorced parents. Mr. Irwin is excellent as the father overly protective of his damaged daughter while at the same time, trying to celebrate his other daughter's big day. Ms. Winger is a welcome return to the screen and makes the most of her few scenes, especially during a raw confrontation with Kim. Rosemarie DeWitt plays Rachel, torn between an love/hate relationship with her sister, which casts a cloud over her wedding plans.

Mr. Demme's direction brings out the best in Ms. Hathaway, struggling with her family and her inner demons. She carries the film and it's her performance you'll remember most.

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