"the film is worth seeing for Hathaway's brilliant and Oscar-caliber performance"
Welcome back Jonathan Demme to the wonderful world of good film making. After directing some quality documentaries for the past several years (Storefront Hitchcock,Stop Making Sense), Demme has made a return to fictional directing.
The center of the drama is Anne Hathaway, who is not the title character, a chain-smoking ex-model returns home from rehab the day before her sister, the title character matching Hathaway in performance by Rosemarie DeWitt, is getting married to a musician. As a substance abuser whose sole breastplate is wounding derision, she is muddle-headedly buoyant owing to her idea that Rachel's wedding will be an indication for absolute, unreserved affection from her otherwise accepting upscale family.
Hathaway is an utter eye-opener as Kym, and not simply in the sense that she's playing the role against type. Rather, she truly understands and expresses what would happen if the character as which she's normally cast made much different decisions, had different fortunes, went another direction lock, stock and barrel. The rest of the cast delivers performances of a similar caliber. Bill Irwin as the ineffectual, smothering father, Anna Deveare Smith as the girl's empathetic step-mother, Mather Zickel as the Best Man and Tunde Adeibimpe as the groom all deliver strong work.
My only complaint is the film's length. Did we really need to follow the reception in such excruciating detail? By then, most of the film's loose ends were tied up. I liked that Demme and Lumet (a really strong screenplay) refused to offer easy redemption to the characters, but the reception seems to point to the probability that there is more drama is to come but it doesn't truly fulfill. The film is worth seeing for Hathaway's brilliant and Oscar-caliber performance.