Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Noah Baumbach's "Margot at the Wedding"
Noah Baumbach is the new Alan Rudolph and, in his bracing new film, he lovingly uses Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh the way Rudolph once showcased Genevieve Bujold, Geraldine Chaplin and Lesley Ann Warren. "Margot at the Wedding" is another American film with a French-film fixation (again, not unlike Rudolph's stuff). The difference is that this one's good, very good, largely because Baumbach is such an astute observer of human conditions but also because Jason Leigh and particularly Kidman are on the same wavelength. Kidman plays a toxic narcissist who visits her sister (Jason Leigh) on the pretext of attending the sister's wedding while she's really there to have some quick sex with a creep who lives nearby. In his brief film career, Baumbach has nailed high-maintenance people with such accuracy that one has to wonder just how high maintenance he is. Nevertheless, it's a gift that I appreciate and, in Kidman, he has a willing accomplice unafraid of the unflinching, recognizable honesty here. She's awesome.
(Artwork: Kidman and Jason Leigh in a rare moment of levity in "Margot at the Wedding")
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