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Rachel Getting Married

‘This is not your family. But this is your family.’ 

Year: 2008 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Jonathan Demme 
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Bill Irwin.  
An image from Rachel Getting Married

Rachel Getting Married follows the story of Kym (Anne Hathaway), who returns home to act as bridesmaid at her eponymous sister’s wedding. However, Kym is a recovering drug addict, whose problems have fractured relations with her family. Greeted as the prodigal daughter by her father, but rather less enthusiastically by her sister, the film tracks the weekend leading up to the wedding and the family relationships which are pulled and stretched by Kym’s return. The film subtly intercuts humour and pathos, with director Jonathan Demme’s (Philadelphia, The Silence of the Lambs) decision to film using handheld camcorders allowing the audience to really witness the weekend as part of the family.

If you are not normally a fan of Anne Hathaway’s frothy output of films – The Princess Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada - fear not. For this role, she sheds her squeaky clean, teen queen image to play an emotionally damaged young woman – and succeeds. In a performance which was critically lauded and earned her nominations at the Oscars and the Golden Globes, she captures the varying sides of Kym’s character, whether likeable or unlikeable, with honesty and skill. However, she is ably supported by the rest of the cast, and the way the relationship between Kym and Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt) is captured expresses the turbulence of a genuine sisterly relationship.

Funny, affecting and true to life, Rachel Getting Married comes highly recommended, its superior performances giving life to the fine comic moments interspersed with scenes of harsh reality.

Kathryn Chase

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Screenings of this film:

2008/2009 Summer Term (35mm)