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Jan 26 2019

Sundance: Julianne Moore in the American remake of "After the Wedding"

Abe Fried-Tanzerreporting from Sundance

Danish director Susanne Bier won an Oscar for her incredible filmIn a Better World(2010),her second time contending for Best Foreign Language Film.The first was her equally involving and magneticAfter the Wedding(2006).That earlier film is actually one of two popular foreign hits remade for US audiences with Julianne Moore in the lead role this year (recent Oscar winner Sebastián Lelio remade his own 2013 Chilean filmGloriaasGloria Bell,due in March this year).Taking over Bier's duties on this other do-over is Moore's husband Bart Freundlich,whose last film was the underrated 2016 Tribeca entryWolves.In addition to bringing this story back on the screen,this is a reunion for the real-life couple with leading man Billy Crudup after the three of them collaborated on bothWorld Traveler(2001) andTrust the Man(2005).

What's most changed – of surprisingly few modifications overall – from the Danish original to the 2019 remake that premiered at Sundance are the genders...

Michelle Williams replaces Mads Mikkelsen to play Isabel,the director of an orphanage in India who is summoned to a booming metropolis halfway across the world to help secure an enormous donation.Upon arriving,Moore's Theresa tells Isabel she needs more time to consider the donation and invites her to the wedding of her daughter that weekend before they meet again on Monday.At the wedding,Isabel is shocked to recognize Crudup's Oscar,Theresa's husband,suggesting that there is more to her trip than she originally thought.

Though Moore doesn't possess the deep booming register that made Rolf Lassgård's performance as the magnanimous investor and father of the bride so unforgettable,our own Nathaniel and other loyal Moore fans will be relieved and unsurprised to hear that she makes the character all her own,simultaneously conveying extraordinary gravitas and a vulnerable humanity.Williams is not as strong a choice,betraying too much emotion in nearly every scene that the stone-faced Mikkelsen was able to exhibit far more subtly (Diane Kruger,originally slated to star,would have likely been a better fit).Abby Quinn,who impressed inLandline(2017),gives the best performance after Moore as the bride-to-be.

cast & director at the premiere of "After the Wedding"

The story here,which shouldn't be spoiled for those who haven't seen the original,remains powerful enough on its own that this film works and should engage a wide audience.This version doesn't make the case that foreign films that are well-received in the United States need to be remade,since some of the impact is lost in translation,but this still serves as a positive effort that,along with many other such films,will hopefully encourage moviegoers to track down the first one.And it might just put Moore back on the Oscar map this year.

more Sundance coverage

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Reader Comments (20)

The original After the Wedding is currently streaming on Hulu.I'm going to revisit as a part of my Nordic film immersion this year.

January 26,2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

I love Julianne Moore but i really hate when she is in remakes wich i detest,specially when she reprises characters that are played so perfect from the original actress like Clarice Starling's Jodie Foster,Margaret White's Piper Laurie or Gloria's Paulina Garcia.

Is the only way i avoid a movie with her and believe me,i really love her.

January 26,2019 | Unregistered CommenterCésar Gaytán

@Cesar.I TOTALLY agree with all you said.Plus I do not feel it will be helping her already flagging film career.

January 26,2019 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

Sidse Babett Knudsen was AMAZING in the original!

January 27,2019 | Unregistered Commentershtajner

What César said.

January 27,2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

She is going to be known as the remake Queen.Not very flattering

After the Wedding (2019)
Gloria (2018)
Carrie (2013)
Psycho (1998)

+ Hannibal (2001)

January 27,2019 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

Hannibal is a sequel,not a remake.

I have a slightly different opinion on this.If she's in a remake and it's actually good--cool.Wonderful.Based on initial reviews,it sounds like Gloria Bell is supposed to be good and she's getting great notices.If After the Wedding also earns her strong reviews,I wouldn't be losing any sleep over her "flagging film career."She's definitely had a bit of a rougher patch these last few years,but there have been some grace notes.She's also almost 60--she might not be getting the offers she used to,even though she's awesome..

I'm less fond,however,of any film she makes with her husband.The Myth of Fingerprints was not very good.Trust the Man was flat-out horrible.I just don't really trust that anything she does with him is going to be very good.

January 27,2019 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

Julianne Moore,Queen of Remakes

January 27,2019 | Unregistered CommenterGloria

If you want to see Julianne at her very worst,see Bel Canto.I think it actually makes roles like Next and Non-Stop look good.Sometimes a brilliant actress can't overcome an incompetent director and/or writing team.I think that's a more important factor than whether or not the movie is a remake.

January 27,2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

I miss some of the fire and interesting choices/roles from the mid to late 90's,I feel she's done a Kate Winslet and is happy now she has her Oscar and takes what she wants,maybe safer choices.

January 27,2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

What 58-year-old actress gets the same roles she had when she was 38?She's no longer middle-aged,and she's not old enough to qualify for senior citizen parts.Every actress in her generation faces the same problem.

Case-in-point: when Meryl was her age,she did Evening,Dark Matter,Rendition,and Lions for Lambs.

January 27,2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Tilda Swinton is a very good example of an actress in her late 50s still getting interesting roles with fire and edge

Sandra Bullock is another example though she has a turkey now and then

Julia Roberts is a third example but 7 years younger then Moore.Roberts is getting better and better I think.

Cate Blanchett will enter her 50s this may.And she will most def get interesting roles combined with her theatre work

Charlotte Rampling has always gotten interesting roles.The same with Helen Mirren,Judi Dench,Maggie Smith

Michelle Pfeiffer is 60 and has starred in interesting projects like Mother,Kyra and Dark Shadows

So yes,it is still possible

January 27,2019 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

So do we think Moore is turning down anything edgy and interesting?Maps to the Stars was probably the last one.

January 27,2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

I dunno but her choices and she's entitled to them are a lot safer and the performances tend to be the same,last time I really loved her in something was A Single Man and Savage Grace..

January 27,2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Blanchett is 9 years younger than Moore,Roberts is 7 years younger than Moore,and Bullock is the same age Moore was when she won her Oscar and Best Actress at Cannes.None of them are closing in on 60.

When Mirren was Moore's age,she did Calendar Girls and the Roman Spring of Mrs.Stone for tv.

When Dench was Moore's age,she did The Torch,a miniseries for tv.

When Smith was Moore's age,she did Sister Act.

When Rampling was Moore's age,she did The Keys to the House and Immortal.

Swinton is terrific,but even she isn't getting the lead roles she had 10 years ago in films like Julia and I Am Love.

Mother!is great.Dark Shadows came along in 2012 (and if Julianne had done it,she would be busted for doing a remake of a tv show).Got any other examples?

January 27,2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Who is perpetuating this fantasy that actresses turn down interesting roles?They only are able to do what is offered to them at any given time.PS,Ocean's Eight and Bird Box are both pretty bad.

January 27,2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

No offense but none of the women over 40 or 50 are doing that great.I can't stand Sandra Bullock - she maintains a Velveeta plastic surgery look that has not changed for years.Julia can no longer open a film.Julianne was never a box office star.Nicole will do anything.I don't blame the women - Hollywood is rarely interested in good stories about women over 40 unless your name is Streep,and even she is doing TV.

January 27,2019 | Unregistered CommenterJono

Gawd,I hate remakes,especially English-language ones.Learn to read,people.Bier's and Jensen's film is perfect.No need for this one.See also "Secret in Their Eyes","Oldboy",and "Wings of Desire".

Also,TV seems to be the most welcoming place for actresses over 50;most of my favorite recent shows are all led by women aged 45 or older (yay,Sandra Oh,on your SAG!).

January 27,2019 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I worked on this film.Great to hear!!It was a tough shoot

January 29,2019 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Moore has upcoming projects with Sebastian Lelio,Joe Wright,Luca Guadagnino and Julie Taymor (right now shooting the leading role as Gloria Steinem with Alicia Vikander).Her post-Oscar years weren't that great,even though she had a collaboration with Todd Haynes and the main villain-role in a big blockbuster hit,but she's doing all right now.And she got huge critical acclaim for "Gloria Bell",with many predicting her a safe bet for an Oscar nomination would the movie have opened this awards season.At the end of this year,she'll hopefully be fully back on track.

And,honestly: it was this decade that she won the Best Actress Oscar,Emmy and Cannes best actress award.All in her 50s and something none of the ladies mentioned above have accomplished in that phase of their career (if at all).

January 30,2019 | Unregistered Commenterfilmfanatic

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