TELLURIDE, Colo. -- A security sweep of the theater last night forced us concessions people outdoors and into the arms of Todd Haynes, Laura Linney and their small entourage of buddies. They were milling around to see Margot at the Wedding, which was soon introduced by director Noah Baumbach (looking like Adrien Brody mixed with Al Pacino) and his girlfriend and star Jennifer Jason Leigh. "Jennifer doesn't like speaking in front of people," Baumbach said on the stage as Leigh stared shyly by his side (in tall black boots pulled over light blue jeans). Baumbach didn't say anything of substance -- only that this was his first time at Telluride. This was the first public screening of Margot, and the theater was packed to capacity (with volunteers squatting on steps and in aisles).
I hate to fling superlatives around, but Margot features Nicole Kidman's most challenging role to date. The movie has the same "family chamber drama" tone as The Squid and the Whale, but this s even more excruciating to watch at points. Kidman plays a monster -- but not a villain -- and her Margot (a writer who crashes her sister's wedding and causes havoc) is one of the most interesting characters I've ever encountered on film. I'm still trying to figure out if her performance is a sensation or a near-miss. I'm leaning more toward the former. But like any Telluride movie, it needs to be seen again. More later.