Overall Impression — Interesting in the way watching a car crash is interesting.


Who’s the main character? — Nicole Kidman’s character, Margot.

What’s she trying to accomplish? —  To stop her sister from marrying the wrong guy.

Who’s trying to stop her? — The guy, Margot’s son, and Margot’s sister.

What happens if she fails? — Her sister marries a highly dysfunctional man.   But seeing how she’s dysfunctional herself, how much do we care?


Orphan — Margot leaves the city and goes to the old, family house on the water the week before her sister’s wedding.  Even though she’s with her son, she’s in the throes of figuring out how to leave her husband.

Wanderer —  Margot tries to get to know the fiance (Jack Black) but doesn’t bond with him, while also trying to figure out how to get her sister to understand how wrong this guy is.

Warrior — Margot kinda comes out and tells her sister not to marry him, after kinda dancing around it.  Herein lies a major weakness; stories can’t survive with their main character being a kinda warrior.

Martyr — I’m not really sure what she gives up or sacrifices.  There is a moment at the end when she’s about to send her son off to be with her husband, but she chases after the bus and gets on to travel with her son.  I guess she gave up something, though as I’m not really sure what her big goals were relative to her son, this beat fails.


Another great cast squandered with self-indulgent storytelling.   I’m not sure for whom this movie was made, but unpleasant characters running around saying and doing unpleasant things seems to me like something that would appeal to only a small handful of potential audience members.  The movie is being released very slowly, in the hope of generating some Oscar buzz for Noah Baumbach who wrote and directed the also unpleasant but somehow better THE SQUID AND THE WHALE.  

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