Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Death at a Funeral

Death at a Funeral
Matthew Macfayden, Keeley Hawes, Jane Asher, Rupert Graves, Daisy Donovan,
Alan Tudyk, Kris Marshall, Andy Nyman, Ewen Bremner, Peter Vaughn and Peter Dinklage

Rated: R for language and drug content
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: August 17, 2007 Released by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.

A pressed, if somewhat charming British comedy is the dark, increasingly outrageous Death at a Funeral.

Frank Oz uses his comedic talents in working from Dean Craig's script that handles a sad situation for hardly the closest of families that nicely underlines their peculiarities.

Leading the cast is Matthew Macfayden (Pride and Prejudice) as Daniel who lives in his parent's lovely rural abode with wife Jane (Keeley Hawes). Jane's doting mother-in-law Sandra (Jane Asher) is driving her bonkers.

The light touch of the script is apparent early when the deceased, Daniel's father, isn't delivered by the funeral parlor. Oz and Craig get some mileage from the discomfort that arises as an estranged family comes together - especially those of an upper-class existence.

Daniel has been in a rut trying to get the novel he's been working on for years, while flirty brother Robert (Rupert Graves of Shrek The Third) has blossomed as an author living in a Big Apple penthouse.

The estimable ensemble includes Daisy Donovan as first cousin Martha, Alan Tudyk as the edgy, open Simon, Martha's fiancee. Kris Marshall as Martha's brother and drug-maker, Troy, who allows Simon to become more open at this gathering of the dearly departed.

Peter Dinklage is the mysterious dimunutive fellow who really can shake up a clan already divided before the mourning really begins. This topsy-turvy farce may not have the kind of laughter-inducing moments one might expect, but it's an acrid remedy for those who know how people like Daniel and Troy can act during such unusual, melancholy times.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Death at a Funeral B+     B-       B

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