After the Wedding
Isabel (Michelle Williams) is delighted to learn that the Indian orphanage she helps to run is getting a generous benefactor. She is less thrilled when it’s announced that in order to get the much-needed funds, she must travel to New York to meet with this demanding millionaire and prove to Theresa (Julianne Moore) why her establishment should get the two million dollar investment.
Unable to refuse and determined to get the money, Isabel returns to America, and after their awkward initial meeting surprisingly leads to an invitation to Teresa’s daughter’s upcoming wedding, it suddenly becomes shockingly apparent that there is far more going on here than potential funding.
Continuing the current trend of gender reversal movies, After The Wedding is Bart Freundlich’s (Myth Of Fingerprints) sensitive reworking of Susanne Bier’s 2006 Oscar-nominated film of the same name.
Both leading ladies are precise and exceptional in their roles, Michelle Williams (The Greatest Showman) giving an illuminating yet understated performance, while Julianne Moore (Still Alice) is majestically mysterious.
On the surface Theresa is a fun (she introduced shout-singing to Lady Gaga) caring, respected – if ultra-composed – self-made media tycoon who can scorch and soothe others, genuinely appearing to have it all: a passionate happy marriage to celebrated sculptor Oscar (a brilliantly nuanced Billy Crudup) and even healthy relationships with her three children, especially bride-to-be Grace (an amazing Abby Quinn). While all this is true, it’s tragically not the whole story, as Isabel eventually discovers.
Unlike the original, every frame of Freundlich’s movie is lavish; from the sweeping Indian vistas to the extravagance of Theresa’s lifestyle, it’s grown-up and respectful to the audience, demanding justified attention and investment. However, this film also has a jarring quality, with abruptly cut scenes and the omission of deep confrontation, that results in the overall finale being less affecting than it could have been.
Having said that, when the facts are known, the American filmmaker, who is also Julianne Moore’s husband, draws powerfully devastating emotional scenes from his wife as the fallout is finally processed.
After the Wedding does not have a UK release date yet.
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