Margot at the Wedding Film Review - Sisterly Love

Margot Zeller ( Nicole Kidman), a bright, razor-tongued short story writer and her prepubescent son Claude ( Zane Pais) travel to the Vermont island home where Margot and her sister, Pauline ( Jennifer Jason Leigh), grew up. They plan to surprise sister Pauline at her wedding.  Margot comes, supposedly, to mend the relationship; but there is more undercurrent here. 

Sisterly advice for the new brother in law

The love-hate relationship of the sisters sparks immediately and whirlwinds as Margot starts to question Malcolm ( Jack Black), Pauline’s zhlub* unemployed finance and begins to cast seeds of doubt about the marriage.  He doesn't work and he doesn't want to be famous because he can't handle rejection.  Margot sets about wreacking havoc on her sister's plans.  Since Margot did not survive at marriage, then certainly Pauline can't either.

Margot at beach

Creating havoc wherever she goes, Margot reunites with Dick ( Ciaran Hindes) an old flame, and then is surprised when her husband shows up as well.  As everyone on the island community is related by six degrees of separation, it turns out that Dick’s daughter babysits for Pauline's daughter, and the two neighbors share more than that in common.

Margot At the Wedding: Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh

As the wedding gets closer, the family deals with nasty neighbors, the death of their favorite tree, Margot’s own marriage turmoil and the humanness of them all. 

The image of the boy and his mother on the train was what first stayed in director Noah Baumbach's mind as he was writing the story, and it progressed as he wondered what she was doing and where she was going.  He knew that his wife, Jennifer Jason Leigh, would make the perfect Pauline. 

"I'm always gonna be interested in what makes people say scathing things to each other under the guise of love," says Leigh.

Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh)and Malcolm (Jack Black) watch as their favorite tree is cut down

This film is an inside look at sibling rivalry and those effected by it.
Margot At The Wedding is Noah Baumbach's masterfully directed follow-up to his Academy Award nominated " The Squid and the Whale”.

Margot has both comedy and pathos, and a deep understanding of family relationships showing that when all else fails, we still have family.

*zhlub – Yiddish: a clumsy slob and simpleton.

For more information about the film go to

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