A retooling of a 2007 Susanne Bier Danish film by Bart Freundlich has two formidable leads in his wife Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams going for it.
Yet for what the writer/director does in terms of casting and production refinement renders an underwhelming, unconvincing melodrama. One that needed more gritty textures with its shifting emotional dynamics and narrative unveilings to provide the immediacy to make the dramatic punches land.
Still this After The Wedding lets these two committed thespians go at it to some degree of success as there’s now the contrast between mundane India and a quite prosperous U.S. Williams’ long-time orphanage hand Isabel is unable to refuse a call to the Big Apple to receive a seven figure donation from media mogul Theresa (Moore). As well as an invite to the marriage of her daughter Grace (Abby Quinn) to her assistant Jonathan (Ales Esola).
Candor and emotiveness is par for the course here in picturesque imagery with spotless upscale office buildings and a posh estate. A messy complexity just can’t cover up the issues that the characters must confront that may be colorful or subtly contained when necessary. But the resonance from what lies beneath goes like a rollicking rollercoaster that may well prompt unlikely reaction to this kind of fare.
A good a Moore and Williams are they just can’t lift a tempestuous theatrically that hardly was evident even in the nature of this kind of episodic matter was utilized by Bier and her lead actor Mads Mikkelson (in the Williams part) in the progenitor. Crudup can’t do much more than be the drifting phlegmatic husband with Moore’s almost Miranda Priestly type of outrageous affluence. Maybe, in this ill-advised, ultimately unnecessary English-language makeover it’s Quinn’s Grace who quietly amazes in the most in a flexuous meander.