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Rachel Getting Married in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Rachel Getting Married

Anne Hathaway • Rosemarie DeWitt • Debra Winger • Tunde Adebimpe
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Demme

Group hug THE CONCEPT:
When Kym (Hathaway) leaves rehab to return home for her sister Rachel’s (DeWitt) wedding to Sydney (Adebimpe), she brings with her a long history of personal crisis, family conflict and tragedy, and the wedding couple’s weekend of celebrating is contrasted by Kym’s biting one-liners and drama.

U.S. RELEASE: October 3 2008, Limited • Rated: R


Jonathan Demme“I was involved in documentary work when Sidney Lumet suggested that I read his daughter Jenny’s screenplay about a family and other things. I loved Jenny’s fragrant disregard for the rules of formula, her lack of concern for making her characters likable in the conventional sense, and for what I considered to be her bold approach to truth, pain and humor. I saw that a film could be made from this script that could mirror my reaction to reading it … that to our own surprise, at a certain point as the story unfolds, despite the script’s refusal to try to manipulate the reader’s emotions, we become part of this problematic family and care very much about its members.”

JENNY LUMET (screenwriter) on the fact that the movie looks like it’s improvised:
Tunde Adebimpe, Anne Hathaway and Rosemarie DeWill“That’s the weird thing, but Jonathan wanted to shoot a feature like a documentary and 100% of the script is in the movie, and the script is also about 95% of the movie. Because he was shooting it like a documentary, the actors never knew where the shot was going to be, and that lends it to that improvisational feel definitely. I think it makes so much sense, as the story is chaotic and to shoot it that way I think adds a layer.”

ANNE HATHAWAY on playing a role against her image:
Anne Hathaway“To be perfectly frank, I had no idea how strong this idea of me connected to the perspective of a good girl, to the likeable character in a movie was – the ingénue, basically. So I took this role and thought, ‘Oh, what a great opportunity just for me as an actress.’ Not, ‘Oh, wow, what a great chance to shake up people’s perceptions of me.’ Everyone keeps asking me, ‘How do you feel doing something so different?’ And I’m like, ‘Is it different?’ I don’t consider my whole body of work whenever I take on a new movie. It’s just, ‘What’s the best story I can tell right now?’ Meryl [Streep, whom she worked with in The Devil Wears Prada] said it best, as Meryl often does, ‘You do the best work you can with the material that’s available to you.’”

Debra Winger“I had wanted to work with Anne Hathaway since watching her in a crowd at a screening five years earlier, already being an admirer of her appearances so far in the movies I’d seen. I was able to pump up the nerve to ask Debra Winger [to play Anne’s mother] in the picture because we had met several times at a film center close to both our homes.”

LUMET on Jonathan’s decision to have the wedding between a bi-racial couple, and never refer to it in the movie:
“That’s what my family looks like, and Jonathan knows that. My mom’s black and I’ve got Asian cousins out here, so we’re pretty nutty. I love there’s no mention of it, and I don’t know if Jonathan knows how much that means to me, but his casting has always been like that.”

HATHAWAY on Demme’s documentary style shooting this movie:
“I felt very comfortable with it. I had a year to prepare for this role. I have a tendency to over think things, so maybe it would have freaked me out if I hadn’t had so much time to figure out who Kym was, but by the time the cameras were rolling, I just felt really comfortable in her skin and locked into the character.”

Declan Quinn [Director of Photography] and I felt that the film should try to look like ‘the most beautiful home movie ever made,’ as though every scene was captured on digital by a friend with a camera.”

HATHAWAY on whether she thinks the audience should feel sorry for Kym:
“I don’t. The whole point of the movie with Jonathan’s perspective on it, which I think is so beautiful, is that they are just people. You feel about them as you’re going to feel about them. My attitude is Kym has such a big heart that she would rather die than hurt anyone. She does have an extreme personality to be sure, she does have an active tongue and she does border on and sometimes cross over to obnoxious, and so do we all. One of the things I loved about her story is that people are perceiving her a certain way, but she know herself better than anyone else. She’s the one that knows the dark 3 a.m. version of her soul and the 10 am version. She has to be this way to survive. And what is perceived as selfish maybe is selfish for other people, but if it ensures her recovery does that make it selfish? And that is something the audience must decide for themselves.”

Debra Winger, Rosemarie DeWitt and Anne Hathaway

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
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