AFTER THE WEDDING – A Review by Cynthia Flores
This film is the English remake of the 2006 Danish Academy Award-nominated for best foreign-language film Efter Brylluppet. It has the same exact storyline with the only exception of the leads being switched to women instead of men. Something must have been lost in translation because this film does not have the gravitas of the original. Despite the fantastic acting abilities of Julianne Moore (who co-produced the film) with Michelle Williams and the always steady Billy Crudup. This film is a drama you have to fight to enjoy.
The story for this film is as follows. Isabel (Michelle Williams) has devoted her life to running an orphanage in a Calcutta slum. With funds running dry, a potential donor Theresa Young (Julianne Moore) a multimillionaire media mogul accustomed to getting what she wants, is found. Theresa requires Isabel travel from India to New York to deliver a presentation in-person. Isabel doesn’t want to leave her orphanage but relents. Telling the woman in charge of it, Preena (Anjula Bedi), that she won’t come back without a suitcase full of money.
Isabel travels to a city she deliberately hasn’t returned to in over two decades. Once in New York, she meets the orphanage’s possible benefactor and finds out Theresa is offering even more money than first proposed. While Isabel thinks she’ll soon be returning to her beloved orphanage, Theresa has other plans. Insisting Isabel attend Grace’s (Abby Quinn) wedding at the family’s estate, she tells her that with the wedding happening she doesn’t have the bandwidth to thoroughly go over Isabel’s proposal for the orphanage. She promises that she will go over it all on Monday after the wedding. The joyful event becomes a catalyst for a revelation that overturns the lives of both women and the people who love them most.
From the skyscraper where Theresa runs her successful business, to the glorious estate, where she lives happily with her family which includes artist husband, Oscar Carlson (Billy Crudup), 21-year-old daughter, Grace, and eight-year-old twins, Theo (Tre Ryder) and Otto (Azhy Robertson), Theresa’s life couldn’t be more perfect and different from Isabel’s simple life back in Calcutta. But appearances can be deceiving, and the two women have more in common than meets the eye.
After The Wedding is a slow-burn drama. While it gives us some memorable scenes that are heart-wrenching to their core, it ultimately doesn’t give us a big enough pay off in the end. I give this film a B- rating only because of the excellent acting skills brought to the movie by its female leads. If it were not for them, I would have given it a C- rating.
Directed by Bart Freundlich
Written by Bart Freundlich
Running Time 112min
Limited Release August 23rd The Angelika Film Center Plano, Landmark Magnolia
Starring: Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Billy Crudup, Abby Quinn, Will Chase
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.