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Margot at the Wedding


Stars: Nicole Kidman, Jack Black, Jennifer Jason Leigh, John Turturro, Ciaran Hinds, Zane Pais, Flora Cross

Director: Noah Baumbach

Another unsympathetic role for Nicole Kidman is a film that might well have been called Maggot at the Wedding. Kidman's disruptive worm is a writer, travelling with her 12-year-old son Claude (Pais) to the wedding of the sister (Leigh) that she hates. Once Margot arrives, everyone is soon at each other's throats.

It's hard to see what director Baumbach is after here. You wouldn't want to spend time with any of these dislikeable characters, and the whole set-up is completely unbelievable: people just don't act like this, any more than Kidman, running for a bus to be with her son, would leave her handbag by the side of the road. No woman, however neurotic, would do that.

Badly photographed in murky colour, the film, although scaldingly well acted, is, like its characters, including Black, as the maudlin bridegroom-to-be, Turturro as Kidman's unctuous husband and Hinds as her vicious lover, no pleasure to be with. I kept hoping that the huge tree that becomes central to one set of arguments would fall down and crush the lot of them.

On a lighter note, I have to confess to believing for more than half the film that the long-haired Claude was a girl.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Paramount (Paramount Vantage). Colour by deluxe.
92 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 24 Feb 2008