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Death at a Funeral (2007) 2007

R CC

As the mourners and guests at a British country manor struggle valiantly to "keep a stiff upper lip," a dignified ceremony devolves into a hilarious, no-holds-barred debacle of misplaced cadavers, indecent exposure, and shocking family secrets.

Starring:
Matthew Macfadyen, Keeley Hawes
Runtime:
1 hour, 30 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Comedy
Director Frank Oz
Starring Matthew Macfadyen, Keeley Hawes
Supporting actors Andy Nyman, Ewen Bremner, Daisy Donovan, Alan Tudyk, Jane Asher, Kris Marshall, Rupert Graves, Peter Vaughan, Thomas Wheatley, Peter Egan, Peter Dinklage, Brendan O'Hea, Jeremy Booth, Angela Curran, Gareth Milne, Paul Buchanan, Kelly Eastwood
Studio MGM
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Glenn A. Buttkus on September 20, 2007
Director Frank Oz [aka Oznowicz] was actually born in England, and he was raised in America. A very talented actor, with 104 film appearances on his resume -he also specialized in "voice work". He and Jim Henson created the whole MUPPETS phenomenon. He created multiple characters, the most famous of which were Kermit and Miss Piggy. He is equally well known for being the voice of Yoda for the George Lucas STAR WARS series. As a director he has made 14 films, varying from THE DARK CRYSTAL (1982), through the classic fun of WHAT ABOUT BOB? (1991). All the way across the spectrum to the crime thriller, THE SCORE (2001), with Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, and Marlon Brando. DEATH AT A FUNERAL (2007) represents his triumphant return to comedy; and what a dark and delicious foray it is.

A farce of the first order, this film is about a normally dysfunctional family who are forced to confront each other at a patriarch's funeral. The amazing script was written by Dean Craig. He is a young writer/director with only four films to his credit. In 2003 he gave us DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS. His script for FUNERAL was filled with wafts, even wads of wit, had terrific internal timing, a solid structure and plot, with a delectable and irreverent sense of humor. It is a film so completely farcical that I believe it could be produced on stage, in live theatre. All those slamming doors, crossed-over plotlines, and zany characters would lend themselves to some outrageous theatrical moments.

Attending the film I was happy to give in to the instant giddiness that most of the audience immediately lapsed into -beginning to titter and then guffaw while the opening credits were still rolling.
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Format: DVD
Like so many others this viewer avoided the theatrical release and deferred to the DVD release of DEATH AT A FUNERAL, thinking that a comic take on a potentially morbid subject might not be very entertaining. Couldn't have been more wrong! This is the kind of humor the Brits do so well - intelligent, expertly delivered dialog and action that can make even the most unlikely situations hilarious. Writer Dean Craig and Director Frank Oz have created a farce and have put this tongue in cheek situation in the hands of some the best of the British actors. The result is a spinning top that only gradually allows the viewer to breathe from laughing during the clever final credits.

The father of a very dysfunctional family has died and son Daniel (Matthew MacFadyen) and his wife Jane (Keeley Hawes) have agreed to host the funeral. After the mortuary first delivers the wrong corpse the tone is set for all the wrong things to happen. The arriving family is a bizarre clan of characters - a novelist living beyond his means in New York (Rupert Graves), a man who unwittingly mistakes an hallucinogen for Valium and ends up on a trip that entertains all, a 'drug distributor', a crotchety old man with toilet problems, and the usual stuffy and goofy associates that so often populate the British comedies. And when it seems as though little else could support sanity, up pops a figure form the US (Peter Dinklage) with a secret about the deceased and proceeds to cause a situation that becomes the focal point of this zany funeral.

Saying too much about each of the characters diminishes the surprises that abound. Were it not for the fact that each of the actors in the film is 'top drawer' this little movie could have become mawkish or tasteless, but this cast and director have produced one of the most refreshingly funny films of the past year. Grady Harp, February 08
9 Comments 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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The great thing about DEATH AT A FUNERAL is that there really is something for everyone. From brief bathroom humor to dark jokes, it's all there, laid out by UK-born director Frank Oz.

The title itself is a bit misleading, in that you would think it to be more horror-ish or dramatic. The words "Death" and "Funeral" don't normally make you skip to the theater thinking "Oh boy! Let's go watch this funny movie!" For that, I would fault only the production person who stamped the name on it. But that would be my only one; one which has nothing to do with the rest of this riotously funny film.

Like a snake creeping upon its prey, Death at a Funeral also slowly makes its way along, never lurching or jumping ahead of itself, building the comedic moments one upon the other. Starting out (as all the trailers have shown) with Daniel (Matthew Macfadyen) standing in his livingroom, watching his father's coffin being delivered in preparation for a British homestyle service. But once the coffin is open, Daniel states, "That's not my father." The funeral home quickly whisks away the casket and returns with the right one. This gradual sinking in of dark comedy holds the film together exceptionally well.

We're then introduced to the rest of the cast...

Jane (Keeley Hawes, Tristram Shandy - A Cock and Bull Story), Daniel's wife who's pressuring him to buy a flat in the city and leave his now widowed mother with his successful brother in New York.

Simon (Alan Tudyk,
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