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Movie Review: Margot at the Wedding

Alternate Title: Bridezilla

Story: If you want to see a film about insufferable, neurotic, shouting, pouting, bickering, self-absorbed people than this film is for you. For everyone else, I warn you to stay away. Director and writer Noah Baumbach has followed up his successful The Squid and the Whale with this pretentious piece of garbage.

Pauline is getting married to slacker Malcolm (whose apparent occupation is being a protest letter-writer to newspapers). She invites her estranged sister Margot, who is a mildly successful writer, to this small event at the old family home. Margot eats her young and everyone else in sight. She is a human shredder. There are hints as to what caused this dysfunction between the sisters but it is never fully explained, nor do we care after a short period of time.

The rotting tree in the center of the yard represents the core of this film's family. The neighbors hate them, their dog runs away from them and I could do all but leave the theater to escape this toxic group.

The two kids featured in the film are hard to dislike but you feel that there is no hope for either of them, short of lobotomies, to obliterate the psychic damage they have already endured.

Do not waste your time seeing this psychobabble that goes nowhere, solves nothing and is a waste of good acting talent.

Acting: Nicole Kidman plays the despicable Margot. I was riveted to the cosmetic changes in her face. She is a lovely looking woman and I have no idea why she would want to turn back time with horrendous surgery. Her whole face looks tight and tilts upward. Very distracting and disturbing.Jack Black as Malcolm, does not stray from his usual role and it does not work here. Jennifer Jason Leigh (Noah Baumbach's real life wife) plays crazy very well. She has been doing it for years. She has not had cosmetic surgery and looks much better than Nicole Kidman. Zane Pais as the androgynous son was sympathetic. Ciaran Hinds as the slimy adulterer is always good and John Turturro plays a bit part as Margot's husband.

Predilection: I like The Squid and the Whale.

Critters: A smart dog who runs away form these incorrigible people.

Food: Wedding cake

Sex Spectrum: There is an uncomfortable masturbation scene.

Soundtrack: I do not remember

Opening Titles: None

Visual Art: The film is so dark (cinematographer Harris Savides) it is hard to tell what is going on in the detail of the film

Theater Audience: More people than I expected and there was lots of inappropriate laughter. I think Jack Black's reputation had some folks thinking this might be a comedy.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: This entire group made my skin crawl.

Drift Factor: If it wasn't so dark I would have looked at my watch more often.

Predictability Level: I did not care.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: NO

Big Screen or Rental: Neither.

Length: 90 grueling minutes