Films & Schedules

  • Rachel Getting Married

  • Jonathan Demme

114 minutes

Production Company:
Sony Pictures Classics
Executive Producer:
Ilona Herzberg, Carol Cuddy
Neda Armian, Marc Platt
Jenny Lumet
Production Designer:
Ford Wheeler
Declan Quinn
Tim Squyres
Jeff Pullman
Zafer Tawil, Donald Harrison Jr.
Principal Cast: Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mather Zickel, Bill Irwin, Anna Deavere Smith, Anisa George, Debra Winger

Canadian Distributor:
Mongrel Media
US Distributor:
Sony Pictures Classics

Saturday September 0606:30PM ROY THOMSON HALL Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Sunday September 0711:00AM VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Blessed with rich, multi-layered characters, unforgettable music and a revelatory performance from Anne Hathaway, Jonathan Demme's latest feature deftly captures the considerable highs and crushing lows of a complicated American family.

After an extended stint in rehab following a major family catastrophe, Kym (Hathaway) returns to her picture-perfect Connecticut hometown to attend the elaborate wedding of her older sister Rachel (played with considerable spark by Rosemarie DeWitt). Kym's arrival causes long-festering hurts to resurface, and the Buchmans' family unity is soon hanging by a thread. Issues of trust and reconciliation flow through the film, leading to discord between parents and their children, as well as among siblings and family friends, even as they all struggle to maintain a ceasefire during Rachel's nuptials. While Kym is offended by her sister's seeming ability to live a faultless existence, the rest of their family and friends resent Kym's penchant for self-serving theatrics and darkly comic one-liners.

The film's raw, roving camera style works especially well during the climactic wedding reception sequence, which possesses a tender, homemade intimacy. Further complementing this stylistic sensibility is the brilliant integration of diverse, genre-bending music, which escalates over the course of the film until we find ourselves amid full-blown concert-calibre performances at Rachel's climactic wedding reception.

But the real story is the incredible cast. Hathaway has already proven her talent in leading roles, but here she stuns with an unsettling, remarkably convincing performance as an awkward girl with a troubled past. In a refreshingly unglamorous transformation, she portrays Kym as a woman unsteadily walking the line between frustrating self-absorption and endearing self-deprecation. The contributions by DeWitt, Bill Irwin and Debra Winger as the family that is so cautious about the prodigal daughter's return brilliantly capture both the hope and hesitation we invest in those we try to love unconditionally.

Emotional, truthful and profoundly touching, Rachel Getting Married celebrates the power of forgiveness and the resilience of family.

Jonathan Demme was born in Long Island, New York, and worked as a publicist before launching his prolific career as a writer, producer and director. In addition to gaining many high-profile honours, he won the Academy Award® for best director for Silence of the Lambs (91). His works include Melvin and Howard (80), Stop Making Sense (84), Philadelphia (93), Beloved (98), The Agronomist (03), The Manchurian Candidate (04), Neil Young: Heart of Gold (06) and Rachel Getting Married (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award