Review: After the Wedding (2019 Sundance Film Festival)


Title: After the Wedding
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Bart Freundlich
Starring: Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Billy Crudup
Runtime: 1 hr 50 mins 

What It Is: For the last twenty or so years Isabel (Williams) has been building and running an orphanage in India. When she heads to New York in order to acquire more funds for said Orphanage. This new potential investor, Theresa (Moore) will only invest after an in-person meeting. During this meeting, she invites Isabel to her daughter’s wedding so they can discuss the issue further. While at the wedding something between Theresa’s husband Oscar (Crudup) and Isabel seems off. Why though?

What We Think: So as the film develops you can start to figure out the beats as it unfolds. That predictability hurts the overall narrative. There are some good performances here, especially by both of our leading ladies. Julianne Moore continues a streak of good performances. Bart Freundlich doesn’t reinvent the wheel with his direction but it’s all very competent work. This is something I enjoyed but it just sags in too many places. Perhaps with less deliberate pacing this really could’ve been something. As it stands most of the plot points are a bit too easy and there’s a safety to this.

Our Grade: C-, A serviceable piece that isn’t without flaws. This one surely will have an uphill battle when it comes to making money. Insofar as a recommendation, I can do so…slightly. I do so IF ONLY for Williams and Moore, though Crudup showed up big time…as he’s done on occasions. Birdbox director Susanne Bier helped write this and her presence is there in small bits. If you want to watch excellent performances, and who doesn’t, this might be the one for you to take the time to find. Whenever this thing finds distribution.

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