The most shocking thing about bombastic drama, After the Wedding, is the fact that the film had managed to bamboozle two of this generation’s greatest actresses (Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore) into starring in it.
Isabel (Michelle Williams) spends her days caring for children in an Indian orphanage. In need of further financing, she is whisked away to New York (under mysterious circumstances) to discuss donorship with media mogul Theresa (Julianne Moore). Out of nowhere, like most of the events of the film, Isabel is invited to the wedding of Theresa’s daughter Grace (Abby Quinn).
This sets in motion the unfolding of a bizarre and perplexing scandal unlike any other seen on screen. A gobsmacking achievement considering After the Wedding is a remake of a decorated Danish film of the same name that was nominated for Oscars. This remake just has Oscar nominees in it.
Williams is given little to do but stare out over a balcony while wearing a shawl. Her newfound elitism over capitalist society causes her to become irate (and barefooted) when difficulty arises. Despite her remarkable acting chops, Williams is unable to salvage this ham-fistedly written character.
Writer-director Bart Freundlich helms a preposterous film that serves no favours to any of the supporting cast. The greatest victim of this is Julianne Moore, whom Freundlich creates a bullish character with mysterious intentions that are as uninspired as they are baffling.
After the Wedding is the type of manipulative film Will Smith would have starred in during the early 2000s. It uses the subtext of poverty as fodder for motif before reaching soap opera-esque levels of melodrama.
Image: Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore feature in After the Wedding – courtesy of Rialto Distribution
Review: Hagan Osborne