American filmmaker Bart Freundlich’s remake of Danish director Susanne Bier’s Oscar-nominated 2006 film After the Wedding, doesn’t just gender-swap the leads but also provides a role as a powerful business women for his wife Julianne Moore.
This however is a patchy melodrama that somehow ensures there is no real surprises in the plot twists that leaves the key players little substance to use their considerable acting talent .
Michelle Williams plays Isabel who has forsaken her comfortable NY life to help run an orphanage in India. A wealthy potential benefactor offers a much needed $2 million donation but is insisting that Isabel flies to NY to make a presentation for the funds
The philanthropist turns out to be Theresa (Julianne Moore) a self-made billionaire, and at their first very brief meeting Theresa insists she needs some time to look over the details on the Proposals and that they should meet again after the weekend.
Meanwhile she insists that Isabel join them on Saturday for the lavish marriage at their home of their daughter Grace (Abby Quinn) It is there that Isabel encounters Theresa’s sculptor husband Oscar (Billy Crudup) and in a single second is confronted by her past that she had been trying to forget for over 20 years.
This is when we learn of the first of the secrets that are going to be uncovered this weekend and we start to realize that Isabel’s visit is no mere accident/coincidence but actually part of a very well-planned plot by Theresa that turns the scenario into one big weepy movie.
Williams gives a finely nuanced performance as Isobel as her cloak of sainthood is slowly chipped away at, Crudup has relatively little to say but is very convincing as the anguished father and husband. Moore is …….well Moore …. playing a controlling women intent on pathing out everyone’s destiny, especially that of her daughter Grace ……Abby Quinn showing she can hold her own with these acting heavyweights.
It is all based on Bier’s original script but exactly why it should have been -re-made in Hollywood is a mystery when at the end of the day it pales in comparison