Margot at the Wedding

User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 68
  2. Negative: 20 out of 68
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  1. HernanM.
    Nov 15, 2007
    10
    Amazing!... Leigh is terrific!
  2. AnaMorales
    Dec 5, 2007
    10
    Congrats to Baumbach who is not afraid of creating characters that are not nice to see, but totally real and brilliantly performed by this, without exception, excellent cast.
  3. DWilly
    Jan 1, 2008
    7
    This is a wickedly funny and intelligent movie and Nicole Kidman delivers: specific, imaginative and brave (fully using herself without commenting at all on a despicable character to indicate she's not like that). Hers is by far the best leading actress performance of the year, but then that has very little to do with who gets recognized for awards, does it? It's not a perfect This is a wickedly funny and intelligent movie and Nicole Kidman delivers: specific, imaginative and brave (fully using herself without commenting at all on a despicable character to indicate she's not like that). Hers is by far the best leading actress performance of the year, but then that has very little to do with who gets recognized for awards, does it? It's not a perfect film, Jack Black can be funny I suppose, but he's not a real actor and there's no reason Jenifer Jason Leigh (very solid, very intimate) would be with him (Mark Ruffalo where were you?). This Noah Baumbach really has got something going for him. Expand
  4. TravisP.
    Jan 10, 2008
    3
    Baseless, pointless, and mean. A huge disappointment after Squid and the Whale. Perhaps Baumbach can only borrow from his own life to produce character motivations remotely logical or human.
  5. ChadS.
    Jan 4, 2008
    9
    Since "Margot at the Wedding" denies its audience any childhood flashbacks, meeting mom might provide some illumination on the fractured relationship between both sisters, but we never get to meet her; the matriarch of a severely dysfunctional family, because Margot(Nicole Kidman) runs away with her son Claude(Zane Pais). "Margot at the Wedding" is seemingly photographed through the prism Since "Margot at the Wedding" denies its audience any childhood flashbacks, meeting mom might provide some illumination on the fractured relationship between both sisters, but we never get to meet her; the matriarch of a severely dysfunctional family, because Margot(Nicole Kidman) runs away with her son Claude(Zane Pais). "Margot at the Wedding" is seemingly photographed through the prism of Margot's writerly mind. Sometimes the sun is out, but nobody feels its warmth. Margot's emotional baggage acts like an eclipse. Her life and art are too intertwined. Margot confuses her family with their fictionalized counterparts and stares them down with the same cold eye of objectivity. Margot is in dire need of an editor to discourage her word choice as a mother when speaking to Claude. She brutalizes him with honesty that will inevitably cut his heart out. After all, a writer's words are precise like a Ginzu knife. It's already too late for Pauline(Jennifer Jason Leigh), Margot's first victim, and certainly not her last. Like "The Squid and the Whale", this filmmaker depicts self-love. As Margot pleasures herself, it's clear that the intent isn't born out of eroticism. The act itself is a metaphor for the love/hate relationship Margot negotiates with her mind; a self-perpetuating cycle of self-absorption and release. "Margot at the Wedding" is not entertaining in the traditional sense of the word, but you can't take your eyes off this Dogma(the movement founded by Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier)-like presentation of human wreckage in the countryside, served on a silver platter for Margot's abstract consumption. Collapse
  6. RobertI
    Feb 10, 2008
    6
    When will contemporary artists learn that unfettered self-indulgence doth not a drama make. The characters, for all their poignancy and full-roundedness (Jack Black as Malcolm, Jennifer Jason Leigh as Pauline), join Margot wallowing in self-centered immature squalling. Witness:A parent who violates a mother's boundaries with her child, a brother-in-law to be who kisses the When will contemporary artists learn that unfettered self-indulgence doth not a drama make. The characters, for all their poignancy and full-roundedness (Jack Black as Malcolm, Jennifer Jason Leigh as Pauline), join Margot wallowing in self-centered immature squalling. Witness:A parent who violates a mother's boundaries with her child, a brother-in-law to be who kisses the babysitter. Where are the adults in this world? Who cares about these people? For all its imperfections, we revel in Kidman's and Jason-Leigh's, and Black's way of inhabiting the characters, and we're glad when it's over. Expand
  7. JohnN.
    Mar 15, 2008
    5
    The film is well acted, but the characters are so abrasive that I can't really say I enjoyed watching it.
  8. JackT.
    Nov 16, 2007
    10
    Nicole Kidman is sensational here.
  9. DrewJ.
    Dec 12, 2007
    1
    I truly do not get all the positive reviews - maybe the filmmaker is "brave" for presenting characters an audience would ever warm up to, but the problem is that he gives us no reason to care what happens to these dysfunctional messes. There are plenty of wonderful movies with mostly loathsome and/or pitiful characters (and this one plenty!), but the difference being plot and character I truly do not get all the positive reviews - maybe the filmmaker is "brave" for presenting characters an audience would ever warm up to, but the problem is that he gives us no reason to care what happens to these dysfunctional messes. There are plenty of wonderful movies with mostly loathsome and/or pitiful characters (and this one plenty!), but the difference being plot and character development that makes sense (none of that here!) and grabs your interest (I can't recall a 90 minute movie seeming so long in recent memory). After rolling my eyes at the ridiculous ending, I realized that I should just be thankful it was over. I liked "Squid and the Whale", but this was torture. Expand
  10. BillD.
    Dec 25, 2007
    6
    The people in this movie are not like any people I've ever met. Thank God. If you go expecting something along the lines of The Squid and the Whale, you are likely to be disappointed.
  11. TJW
    Dec 5, 2007
    3
    If I wanted to see terrible human beings do terrible things to nice people (and occasionally themselves) I'd spend more time with my extended family. Baumbach takes a HUGE step backwards.
  12. EllenS.
    Dec 6, 2007
    3
    Unlikeable characters behaving in unpleasant ways, plot developments you can see on any daytime soap -- why are so many critics loving this film? And what happened to Nicole Kidman's face? If you want ot see what Noah Baumbach can do, rent "The Squid and the Whale." Avoid this mess; he got lost in the "Margot" script and never found his way out.
  13. GabiorA.
    Dec 7, 2007
    5
    Yeah...This ones a toughie. I don't see why likable or realistic characters is a mandate for a good movie so at first i enjoyed this film. But then the real flaw comes into effect, repetitiveness. Noah seems more concerned with keeping us on edge than humored or entertained so he keeps throwing those digs in. They get old fast. On the other hand I thought the movie rediscovered solid Yeah...This ones a toughie. I don't see why likable or realistic characters is a mandate for a good movie so at first i enjoyed this film. But then the real flaw comes into effect, repetitiveness. Noah seems more concerned with keeping us on edge than humored or entertained so he keeps throwing those digs in. They get old fast. On the other hand I thought the movie rediscovered solid footing in the last third which besides a few side steps worked as a drama for me. Overall its hard to say "unlikable characters" in the first place because I wasn't thinking about this movie in terms of plot or characters. Whenever Margot said something too over the top I didn't think to myself "who does this women think she is?" I thought "what is Noah thinking?" And when you watch a movie and see the film maker not the film that's usually a bad sign. There are moments in this film. I won't deny that, but its not easy to recommend. Expand
  14. Swivelchair
    Dec 9, 2007
    8
    Is it me? Am I giving this writer/director too much credit? This film reminds me of "The Hoax" -- the one with Richard Gere, playing Clifford Irving. Some people get it, some don't. The marketing of this movie, imo, was misleading. I didn't think it was at all funny. It was a car wreck you can't turn away from. If the purpose of a movie is to evoke the emotion of the Is it me? Am I giving this writer/director too much credit? This film reminds me of "The Hoax" -- the one with Richard Gere, playing Clifford Irving. Some people get it, some don't. The marketing of this movie, imo, was misleading. I didn't think it was at all funny. It was a car wreck you can't turn away from. If the purpose of a movie is to evoke the emotion of the audience, this one evoked it in me. It totally creeped me out. I agree with all the other reviews. The people are hideous and there is no action and no comic relief, really. The real action is understanding the fully terrifying psyches of the protagonist, Margot (Nicole Kidman). Nicole Kidman was amazing -- and I thought Richard Gere was amazing in "Hoax" -- as someone with a psychological disturbance who is clearly "up a tree" so to speak. The other actors were great, especially the son. Am I the only one who got the allusions? A reference to self-gratification: Margot has sex with herself, of course. In what I thought was the most painful scene in the movie, the son, who tries to win his mother's love by satisfying her needs for adoration, almost says he was thinking about her in his self-gratification. She brushes it off without a thought, despite her progressive "spousification" of him. Where there is empathy -- by Margot's husband saving a dog hit by a car -- Margot blooms into full-flowered contempt. In Nicole Kidman, we can't tell the imperceptible shift -- is the contempt for others or for herself or does she not even know herself? The dysfunction goes way deeper, imo, than just the dialogue. I'm not even in film school. Why is this movie panned? This was pretty amazing acting. Or was it acting? There isn't a sympathetic protagonist anywhere, except maybe the dog. Jack Black was perfect for this role -- a guy who knows when the gig is up, and admits he's a loser. At least he's honest. I can't say he was acting. So is this good acting? I don't know. The sociopaths next door are at least open about their proactive aggression. The tragedy, of course, are the innocents. This happens all the time. I wonder what will happen to these little souls, who have been touched by evil. I hope they grow up and make movies. Expand
  15. Orlando
    Feb 11, 2008
    8
    Fearless acting, superbly written and excellent directing in this outstanding film about family interactions, parenting, and the natures of family loving.
  16. MikeD.
    Feb 12, 2008
    1
    This was one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Not just a chick flick, but a pointless, self-indulgent chick flick.
  17. BrettR
    Feb 25, 2008
    9
    Nicole Kidman is back in a big way with fantastic choices and Jennifer Jason Leigh is an amazing compliment to her playing her sister. I found the writing fascinating, though I found the subplot of "coming of age" of Kidman's son a little tired.
  18. RayS.
    Mar 31, 2008
    2
    All the characters in this flick need to be in therapy. No insights gleaned from their rantings. Cannot recommend this travesty.
  19. DrewW.
    Nov 15, 2007
    9
    Nicole Kidman gives one of her best performances of her career as the title character Margot.
  20. [Anonymous]
    Nov 16, 2007
    10
    Excellent Nicole is brilliant.
  21. GregM.
    Nov 19, 2007
    4
    Well filmed, well acted, affecting at times, but ultimately a huge disappointment. The characters don't speak like humans do, don't react like humans react, and don't have any motivation. I have a feeling that the writing was a stylistic decision pushed way to far, because despite great filmmaking and performances, the movie comes out jumbled and thin.
  22. DeborahL
    Nov 22, 2007
    7
    Fascinating but ultimately dissatisfying. For once Jack Black delivers a restrained performance that is actually touching. Somehow felt like an O'Neill play: over the top dysfunctionality, only with a family that is all too aware of how, uh, interesting they are.
  23. AjP.
    Nov 23, 2007
    3
    This was not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination. I was looking forward to it for a while now as I really enjoyed The Squid and the Whale. However, none of the characters were likable, especially Nicole Kidman's, who did give a very good performance. For that alone the movie scored some points for me. Otherwise, I agree with the New York Post's assessment - a highly This was not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination. I was looking forward to it for a while now as I really enjoyed The Squid and the Whale. However, none of the characters were likable, especially Nicole Kidman's, who did give a very good performance. For that alone the movie scored some points for me. Otherwise, I agree with the New York Post's assessment - a highly pretentious movie about disturbingly ugly people. Jack Black has yet to convince me he's anything but a supporting actor in a B-movie. Expand
  24. BobE.
    Nov 25, 2007
    2
    Aside from some fine acting, this film is a badly written mess. All the adult characters are raving neurotics without redeeming or attractive qualities. After ten minutes with any of these thoroughgoing whack-jobs we want to run screaming. The one exception seems to be Margot's husband, played by John Tuturro, but after his small dollop of sanity and five minutes of screen time, Aside from some fine acting, this film is a badly written mess. All the adult characters are raving neurotics without redeeming or attractive qualities. After ten minutes with any of these thoroughgoing whack-jobs we want to run screaming. The one exception seems to be Margot's husband, played by John Tuturro, but after his small dollop of sanity and five minutes of screen time, he's gone for good. Even the neighbors are straight from Hell. The weakest actor of the bunch is Jack Black, who, sad to say, is perfectly cast to play a pathetic, childish loser. But they're all pathetic losers in their own special way. As a Gilbert and Sullivan song says: "When everybody is somebody, then nobody is anybody." All these folks are so dysfunctional as to be hopeless. When we have no hope for them (or their poor children!) we lose interest rapidly. The film this should be compared to - one about another dysfunctional family, but one with complex, human characters - is Mike Leigh's brilliant "Secrets and Lies" Noah Baumbach should be sentenced to watch that film 4 o 5 times before he is allowed to waste such actors' - and our - time again. Expand
  25. JerroldS
    Dec 11, 2007
    1
    Suffered through this movie. Plot developments were weak and the writing very unbalanced. You never cared for any character in the movie and were happy just to have the movie end. Wasted 92 minutes of my life on this.
  26. JayH.
    Feb 19, 2008
    6
    Better than average dysfunctional family film. Well written and the cast is very good, especially Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jack Black. It has an appealing offbeat quality to it, thanks to a good job by director Noah Baumbach.
  27. JasonF.
    Feb 27, 2008
    10
    Baumbach's has an incredible gift of giving genuine life to characters, their flaws glaring and painful even as you fall in love them.
  28. yoriD
    Dec 15, 2007
    10
    This is not a mainstream movie and I'm glad. No happy endings. A chapter in people's lives. Funny,sad,disturbing,everything....just raw. Nicole Kidman just disappeared in her role. If you like "Squid..." don't see why you wouldn't this one... Loooooooooooved it.
  29. ElliotC
    Dec 16, 2007
    9
    Only philistines would not like this movie
  30. Dec 22, 2010
    5
    Margot at the Wedding is not for everybody's taste. It Baumbach achieves something that directors rarely even attempt - for the audience to be simply disgusted and annoyed by the main characters to an extent that they dislike them quite intensely. The screenplay is rather strange and fragmented, which makes the film kind of hard to comprehend, which is my biggest issue with the film. AsMargot at the Wedding is not for everybody's taste. It Baumbach achieves something that directors rarely even attempt - for the audience to be simply disgusted and annoyed by the main characters to an extent that they dislike them quite intensely. The screenplay is rather strange and fragmented, which makes the film kind of hard to comprehend, which is my biggest issue with the film. As interesting and complimentary Baumbach's approach is, especially with the 'hating on the characters', it does not help the audience to like the film. On the brighter side, the performances here are top-notch: Nicole Kidman is her usual excellence in this film, as the bitter sister Margot. Her sister is played by the Jennifer Jason-Leigh, who is at least as good as Kidman in his film, if not a tiny bit better. They work great together as sisters. Also, Jack Black is surprisingly real in one of his rare serious roles on-screen. Overall, a difficult but interesting film, with some really good acting. Expand
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 37
  2. Negative: 3 out of 37
  1. Margot at the Wedding doesn’t develop; it just skips from one squirmy scene to the next.
  2. Noah Baumbach has followed up his acclaimed 2005 breakthrough "The Squid and the Whale" with another wryly observed, giddily cringe-inducing, bracingly original winner.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    This study of a disastrous reunion of two sisters feels more like a collection of arresting scenes than a fully conceived and developed drama.