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After the Wedding

After the Wedding

By Joanna Langfield

This high melodrama proves what good actors can bring to a production that otherwise falls flat.

Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore and Billy Crudup headline in Bart Freundlich’s revision of the Suzanne Bier’s acclaimed drama. We meet Williams, devoted to the orphanage she miraculously heads up in India, just as she is called to New York, where a benefactor is offering much needed funds. Turns out the woman with the money is the super busy Moore, who invites Williams to attend a family wedding the next day. Turns out, the surprise that’s revealed then is only the first of many.

The raw energy of Bier’s original has been smoothed pretty much away here, offering a somewhat dull veneer to the pretty pictures of each set up. The houses are gorgeous, the people are attractive, even the dark orphanage feels evocative and not so bad. This tale of secrets, pain and forgiveness feels oddly inert, only occasionally shaken awake by the commitment and determination of its actors, each of whom brings enough understanding and experience to compel our attention and, in pieces, our hearts.

 

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