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Director Jonathan Demme has made mostly documentary and concert films in the last 15 years.
Director Jonathan Demme has made mostly documentary and concert films in the last 15 years. Jonathan Alvarez/Getty Images
Director Jonathan Demme, famous for Hollywood blockbusters including Silence of the Lambs, once made a specialty of nicely textured films about women. Lately, though, he's mostly been making documentaries, including recent studies of former President Jimmy Carter and musician Neil Young.
Now he's back at the multiplex with Rachel Getting Married, an almost universally acclaimed wedding dramedy starring Anne Hathaway in what some are calling a career-defining performance.
The movie's script is by Jenny Lumet, the daughter of another celebrated director, Sidney Lumet, and the writer Gail Buckley. (Which makes her the granddaughter of the legendary entertainer Lena Horne.)
Rachel Getting Married traffics in sibling rivalries, family idiosyncrasies, and much more, with Hathaway playing a recovering drug addict who seeks, almost unconsciously, to upstage her sister's wedding.
Film critic David Edelstein said in his Fresh Air review that "I don't think I've seen a movie with this mixture of desolation and fullness. Rachel Getting Married is a masterpiece."
Demme and Lumet join Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies for a conversation about how they came to make the movie, and what they discovered as it came together.