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Pre-Covid Movie Harkens Back to When People Were Human

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After the Wedding (2019) is a Work of Art. I was actually afraid to see how badly it bombed at the box office. It grossed $3 million. It probably cost at least ten times that to make. Critics gave it 46% on Rotten Tomatoes while audiences gave it 76%. This is why movies today are shitty. The good ones bomb. 

By Henry Makow PhD

“A manager of an orphanage in Kolkata travels to New York to meet a millionaire benefactor.”

This is how the movie was marketed. It is not what this movie is really about. 

The “benefactor,” magnificently played by Julianne Moore, is dying of cancer. She is trying to re-unite the “manager” played by Michelle Williams with her husband (Billy Crudup) and her step-daughter (Abby Quinn) because the manager is actually her step-daughter’s mother. 

Admittedly, the set-up based on Susanne Bier’s 2006 Danish movie of the same name, is ridiculous. Supposedly the Williams and Crudup characters had a baby and agreed to put it up for adoption and separate. But Crudup changed his mind before the “Grace” period expired and decided to raise the child (Grace) himself without telling the mother. He later married the Moore character who became a famously wealthy entrepreneur.


The story is not why I love this movie and consider it a work of art. I love it because it portrays people as sophisticated, complex and loving. 

I also love it because the acting is superb. Michelle Williams perfectly portrays the orphanage manager as a combination of tough-mindedness and otherworldly spirituality. You cannot imagine that this women ever has to poop. 

Julianne Moore is totally convincing as the millionaire entrepreneur who is planning for her own demise by giving her wealth to her husband’s first love and their daughter. 

Again, totally implausible but I love God’s fools, probably because I am one too.

But frankly I am incapable of such acts of selfless love. That’s why I loved the movie.

It portrays love between human beings in a way which I am ashamed to say, I am incapable of. 
I am totally cynical when comes to most people, especially now during the covid hoax. 

It’s not like the Moore character isn’t afraid of dying. There is an unforgettable scene when she is comforted by her husband as she cries, ” I don’t want to die. I’m not finished yet.” 

Both Moore and Williams deserve Academy Awards for their performances. Of course, they weren’t even nominated. The screenplay was written and directed by Moore’s husband Bart Freundlich whom I also consider a genius. 

The daughter played by Abby Quinn was miscast. Although a competent actress, she doesn’t look like either of her supposed parents.  And frankly, she is not attractive. I have been carefully programmed to evaluate young women strictly on their sex appeal. So, I guess casting her was another courageous move. 

Also, the motivation behind the William’s character is weird. After giving her child up for adoption some 20 years ago, she adopts an Indian street kid and nurtures hundreds more. Yet she is suddenly anxious to restore her relationship with her birth daughter and her father.

But the plot-holes pale beside this convincing portrait of competent, decent, loving, complex and intelligent human beings such as I despair exist any more. We desperately need these inspiring role models today.

You can catch “After the Wedding” on Amazon Prime. 


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