Finally got around to seeing MARGOT AT THE WEDDING last night. FOUR STARS! Sorry, but if you’re a critic who badmouthed this movie, you need to find a new line of work. I’m gonna jot your name down from its grandfathered position on Rotten Tomatoes, and follow you around shouting that you’re a communist… until the restraining orders arrive.
Too harsh? I don’t know. Maybe it’s that some of these critics, and I wont name names, are just frustrated fiction writers and they’re mad at Baumbach’s insider view of the fiction writer world. Honeys, would it help to know that most fiction writers are really just frustrated critics? Nicole Kidman’s character, Margot, is a semi-famous writer of the New England snob variety, and a total bitch, but a believable one… a true one. And if as a critic you think a movie must be bad if all the characters are unlikeable…well, would you pan OTHELLO for the same reason?
I don’t like OTHELLO either. Man, what a downer of a play… it makes my insides hurt. But I think the problem people have with MARGOT really boils down to their fear of bad parenting (Margot is running from a marriage to a steady-keeled dullard played by John Turturro–hell, I’d run too–and is turning their son into a Norman Bates). These hater critics must either be scared they are bad parents or are afraid they had bad parents themselves and, either way, they don’t want to go to therapy to find out.
Bottom line #1: this is cinema, not life! You don’t have to agree with characters to enjoy them. Free yourself of morality’s leaden albatross. Baumbach is, if nothing else, a bona fide American new waver. With his heavy use of jump cuts and close-ups you can feel echoes of Argentine director Lucretia Martel (THE HOLY GIRL, LA CIENEGA) and right there, you got art, mister.
What you haters also need to know: bad apple hotties like Kidman’s character really do create shit storms wherever they go. Cars crash, neighbors go rabid, idiots in diapers played by Jack Black cut down trees. I’ve seen it! None of that stuff is exaggerated.
Bottom line #2: If you don’t like cinema only escapism, If you’re just another sheep who gets angry when your pre-chewed audio-visual cud turns rancid and causes you to wretch instead of going all glazed-eyed into warm fantasy oblivion, then you are not a writer, you are a knee-jerk reactionary. For if you were to vomit that rancid cud up with love and lack of judgment you would in fact be a sheep no more, but expelled from the belly of the whale, shot from your amniotic matrix and into the cold light of real world of the true cinema lover, the cinema of Nicholas Ray, Hawks, Godard, Truffaut, Welles, and Martel! This is the cinema that is epicac, cinema as syrup of squill, not the cinema that is escapist feel good TRIPE!