2008: #1 Rachel Getting Married

Directed by: Jonathan Demme
Written by: Jenny Lumet
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Bill Irwin, Anna Deavere Smith, Tunde Adebimpe, Debra Winger
Distributer: Sony Pictures Classics
Country: United States
Language: English
Rating: R
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Date released: 10/17/2008
Date seen: 10/23/2008
Worldwide Box Office Gross: $13,580,664
# of Oscar nominations: 1 (Actress)
# of Golden Stake Nominations: 6 (Musical Performance, Soundtrack, Supporting Actress, Actress, Ensemble, Original Screenplay)
# of Golden Stakes Won: 2 (Actress & Ensamble)

You thought I’d give this to The Dark Knight didn’t you? Well, I almost did. This was a close race for best film of the year but ultimately I had to give it to Rachel Getting Married because it came closer than any other film this year to being perfect. I’m sure that Sony Pictures Classics wanted this movie to be embraced by the public the way something like Juno or Little Miss Sunshine was, but that just wasn’t going to happen. This wasn’t a populist movie with a few safe laughs, it was a raw, honest look at what the family dynamic is really like and its conclusions weren’t pretty. Unlike Little Miss Sunshine, which for all its faux edge ultimately embraced the delusion that family bonds can conquer all, this film was an attack on the notion of the family as an invincible and important part of the human condition. There are two sides to every character in the film, the side that’s shown to the public and the genuine side which only occasionally makes it to the surface. More than any other element it is the acting ensemble that carries this film, everyone down to the last extra is perfectly cast the dialogue, while snappy, is very down to earth and believable. Demme does everything he can to make everything on the screen real and authentic, he uses handheld digital cameras to capture everything and uses that style better than I’ve ever seen before, and he also uses live musical performances to great effect. This is one of the rare films that I cannot find anything to complain about, it is a true triumph of personal filmmaking.

Full Review

#2 Year End Honors

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