Review: Say `I Don’t’ to `Margot’

January 5, 2008 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

Jennifer Jason Leigh, left, and Jack Black

Jennifer Jason Leigh, left, and Jack Black

With 2005’s “The Squid and the Whale,” writer-director Noah Baumbach created characters who were smart, witty, sad, vulnerable and, above all else, laceratingly verbal.

With “Margot at the Wedding,” he’s got the laceratingly verbal part down, but he left out all the rest.

In this claustrophobic homage to the French New Wave (the title seems to be an allusion to Eric Rohmer’s “Pauline at the Beach”), Baumbach depicts sibling rivalry not as something fragile and evolving but as blood sport.

Nicole Kidman stars as Margot, an accomplished Manhattan short-story writer who travels with her adolescent son, Claude (Zane Pais), to the East Coast island where she grew up for the wedding of her estranged hippie-chick sister, Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh).

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