Rachel Getting Married
- Director:Jonathan Demme
- Cast:Rosemarie DeWitt, Anne Hathaway, Mather Zickel
- Release Date:August 17, 2009
- The Film:4.0
- The Disc:4.0
"I am Shiva the destroyer, your harbinger of doom for this evening." This...
"I am Shiva the destroyer, your harbinger of doom for this evening." This line fairly encapsulates Rachel Getting Married. Such is the irony, the pain, the drama and the humour of a weekend wedding so effortlessly and intricately captured in Jonathan Demme's film. Penned by Jenny Lumet (daughter of renowned filmmaker Sidney Lumet), Rachel Getting Married is a fearless, courageous look at the realities of addiction, loss and rehabilitation as experienced by a fractured yet loving family.
Returning from a nine-month stint in rehab, Kym (Anne Hathaway in her Academy Award nominated role) arrives home to a house filled with guests and the organised chaos of the days before a wedding. And yet, while Rachel (Rosemary DeWitt) may be getting married, she'll have to fight Kym for the spotlight. Indeed, this film is as much about sisterhood - that wonderful, terrible, intractable bond - as it is about past and present coming together in that new beginning called marriage.
Hathaway and DeWitt certainly don't disappoint as sisters locking horns over a lifetime of issues. They are, however, beautifully supported by powerhouse performances from Bill Irwin and Deborah Winger. In fact, all the supporting roles are examples of spot-on casting, giving the film an effortless realism. Alongside the cast, the cinematography and soundtrack are the most striking features of Demme's film. Bringing his documentary aesthetic to the fore, Rachel Getting Married could almost be a home movie, thanks to a Herculean effort by cinematographer Declan Quinn and his roving, shoulder-mounted camera. This dynamic style, compounded by Demme's decision to score the film live, also created headaches for editor Tim Squyres.
Such insights into the filmmaking process are well elucidated in the DVD special features. Two behind the scenes featurettes - one just focused on the music - as well as a lengthy Q&A session, deleted scenes and two commentary tracks, make for intriguing viewing for those so inclined. Entertaining backstories, enthusiastic anecdotes, and more detailed exploration of Demme's aesthetic are all revealed in what comes across as a joyous and close knit production.
While weddings may already be infamous crucibles of champagne-fuelled family angst, the deeply affecting Rachel Getting Married takes the cake.