More unhappy Noah Baumbach characters. That is, another helping of the kind of backbiting, neurotic people writer-director Baumbach etched so well in The Squid and the Whale, people so tense and insecure they can never let an opinion stand unchallenged, especially when it's voiced by a member of one's own family. Here, the tension level is raised in the story of two sisters, Margot (Nicole Kidman) and Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh), reuniting for a dreadful weekend before Pauline's wedding to a chronic slacker (Jack Black, actually funny). Baumbach's strategy backfires. Too much misery is finally just too much misery, no matter how amusingly testy these people are. The writer-director reportedly intended Margot as an homage to Eric Rohmer, the great French director of romantic character studies. Uh-uh. Baumbach's characters are too abrasive, too unforgiving of each other's follies, to ever live in Rohmer's world. Co-starring Ciarï¿½n Hinds, John Turturro, and Zane Pais as Claude, Margot's son (92 min., 2007).
Director: Noah Baumbach
Writer: Noah Baumbach
Producer: Scott Rudin and Blair Breard
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jack Black, John Turturro, Flora Cross, Zane Paris, Halley Feiffer, Elena Anaya, CiarÃ¡n Hinds and Ashlie Atkinson