Michelle Williams delivers a knockout performance as Isabel, a young American woman caring for kids in an orphanage in Southern India. In desperate need of funds, an generous offer comes in from New York, on the condition Isabel travels there to personally meet with the potential donor.
She is resistant to the idea of leaving the kids for any extended period, but with hungry mouths to feed and not enough beds to care of all the deprived kids, she reluctantly agrees to go, promising to return with a “suitcase full of cash”.
In New York she meets Theresa Young (Julianne Moore in top form), a successful entrepreneur who is on the verge of selling her company, and is also organising the wedding of her daughter Grace (Abby Quinn).
Theresa’s husband Oscar (Billy Crudup) is an artist, and the couple also have twin boys. Theresa insists Isabel join the family at Grace’s big day, promising they can get to know each other and then they can finalise the donation “After The Wedding”.
Isabel arrives late to the fancy function, and is taken aback when she claps eyes on Oscar. He too is unsettled by her appearance and there is a lot of guessing to work out where the story will head.
This is a remake of a 2006 Danish film by Susanne Bier, known for the brilliant TV series The Night Manager and Netflix feature film Bird Box.
Bart Freundlich has directed and written the screenplay for his interpretation of the tale, casting his wife Julianne Moore for the fourth time in his seventh film.
From the opening drone footage of the orphanage I was spellbound trying to guess the secrets that are clearly at play from watching the trailer.
I thought the acting was excellent, the script strong, the pacing spot on, the cinematography inventive and powerful and felt the story paid off in spades.
I’m not sure how the film has such a poor Rotten Tomatoes aggregate score because I thought there wasn’t a bad choice made across the entire film.
4 Stars – “A Moving, Authentic & Intriguing Drama”