Picks and Pans Review: Margot at the Wedding

updated 11/26/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/26/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST

Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jack Black | R |

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Respected author Margot (Kidman) writes fiction, but her relatives don't appreciate that her stories are often lifted directly from their lives. So when she arrives home for the wedding of her less successful sister (Leigh), the visit is fraught with tension. That's the setup for this bittersweet comedy about family dysfunction from writer-director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale). The movie feels a bit ragtag, with some characters and plotlines only partially developed, but the performances are razor sharp. Kidman, in particular, vividly creates a character scary in her unerring ability to zero in on, and then dig at with a verbal knife, a person's emotional weak spot.

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