“After the Wedding” plays out like a single storyline on your favorite daytime soap opera if its timeline were accelerated to include just the juicy parts and it featured top-notch actors giving the greatest performances of their lives.
A remake of the 2006 Oscar-nominated Danish film written and directed by Susanne Bier, “After the Wedding” will please those who are familiar with its foreign counterpart while enticing new audiences who are drawn to its strong cast. Having said that, this is undoubtedly an indie arthouse flick and has all of the quicks of such.
It is a somewhat slow-moving motion picture with most of its scenes playing out in a relatively subdued fashion. That works in the film’s favor, though, as it also includes some exceptionally dramatic moments. Those moments, therefore, hit even harder and make for a robust piece of entertainment that also explores some very serious issues.
Michelle Williams plays a woman named Isabel who has dedicated her life to working with the children in an orphanage in Calcutta. When she receives word of a mysterious and generous grant for the financially struggling orphanage, Isabel must travel to New York to meet the benefactor in person.
Isabel meets with the benefactor Theresa (Julianne Moore)—the multimillionaire head of a media company—and suddenly finds herself on the invite list for the woman’s daughter’s wedding. However, an encounter with Theresa’s artist husband (Billy Crudup) leads to a series of revelations that will forever change all of their lives.
To say much more would be a disservice to moviegoers who are not yet aware of the dramatic chain of events that follow. However, the story is filled with surprises that will leave you gasping and wondering how the characters at the center of it all will react. Some of the surprises are melodramatic in nature while others are more earnest, encouraging the viewer to examine what their choices would be given the unique circumstances.
Fans of the 2006 Danish film on which it was based will not find any surprises aside from a gender swap, but the trio of powerhouse acting performances is more than enough to warrant a watch. Williams, Moore and Crudup are at the top of their games here and help alleviate some of those aforementioned indie arthouse flick quirks.
Some may argue that a remake of the material was not needed, especially given the acclaim that the original received more than a decade ago. However, the remarkable performances by the three well-known actors combined with the more widely accepted English language will expose more audiences to “After the Wedding.” Perhaps some may even seek out the original afterward as a result.
Either way, this remake is an entertaining and thought-provoking movie that is ripe with raw emotion and surprises around every corner. Toss in the top-tier acting and you have got a small film that is worth going out of your way to see on the big screen.