(Posted by Aaron Aradillas)
One of the traps critics (including myself) sometimes find themselves in is welcoming back a filmmaker when he hasn't gone anywhere. Inevitably the phrase "...a return to form" is used to describe an offering that reminds said critic of said filmmaker's "heyday." Robert Altman's The Player, John Frankenheimer's 52 Pick-Up, Sydney Lumet's Before The Devil Knows You're Dead are a few examples of this trend.
Why do I bring this up? Because Jonathan Demme's latest is about to bow at the Toronto International Film Festival, and I get the feeling critics are dying to welcome back one of their darlings. Rachel Getting Married feels like one of Demme's great early '80s humanist comedies like Melvin and Howard, and less like one of his post-Silence of the Lambs intimate epics. The funny thing is Demme has been with us all this time. His post-Lambs output has been quite remarkable, if stylistically different from his earlier work.
I thought I'd take this opportunity to look at the evolution of one the most singularly American filmmakers of the last 40 years.