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Margot at the Wedding - drama DVD review
MARGOT AT THE WEDDING rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 2 1/2 stars
Actors: Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jack Black, Flora Cross, Seth Barrish, Zane Pais
Director: Noah Baumbach   Studio: Paramount
DVD release: 19 February 2008   Runtime: 92 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features: Subtitles (English, French, Spanish), Audio Tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround; Spanish, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround), A conversation with Noah Baumbach and Jennifer Jason Leigh, Theatrical trailers, Previews

Director Noah Baumbach is known for his intriguing and insightful filmmaking. Unfortunately his latest offering is not quite up to par with The Squid and the Whale and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Short story author Margot (Nicole Kidman) travels with her son, Claude (Zane Pais), to her estranged sister Pauline's (Jennifer Jason Leigh) wedding to the slothful artist Malcom (Jack Black). Pauline has been angry because Margot used their lives as material for her stories. Margot can find nothing good about Pauline's life, or about Malcom. We soon find out that Margot has been having an affair with a fellow author and is planning to leave her husband.

Mercifully, MARGOT AT THE WEDDING is short. But it does not end before Margot leaves a wake of destruction behind her by systematically making everyone feel bad about themselves and their relationships-often just to make Margot feel better by feeling more superior. Her relationship with Claude is odd; she is needy and clingy, but when he acts the same to her, she cuts him down quickly. The one shining star of the movie is Jennifer Jason Leigh. Her performance feels real and offers a sensible catalyst to Margot's passive-aggressive attitude. I do wish the ending would have offered a bit more closure, but I suppose that would have felt manufactured in light of Margot's character.

The only special feature is "A Conversation with Noah Baumbach and Jennifer Jason Leigh"-who just happen to be married to one another. Her comfort with his directing is quite evident in her superb acting in the movie. Overall, this isn't a stellar movie, but it is definitely character-driven and is an interesting look at life in a very dysfunctional family.
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reviewed by Melissa Parcel
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