Out of the blue, she receives some bad news from back home, and Lelio shows that her first impulse is to try to anesthetise the pain with drink and casual sex. ‘Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola are at the top of their game’ ... Disobedience. She's been gone so long she had no idea that Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), taken in by her father as a protégé at 13, and Esti, her childhood friend (Rachel McAdams) have gotten married. One is Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), her father’s favourite pupil, a virtual adopted son who is now a much admired young rabbi himself. It was partly to escape the stifling rigidity of her father’s values that Ronit fled London for a secular life in New York in the first place: defiant, relishing freedom, but nursing a wound of guilt for breaking her father’s heart; she was an only child and he a widower. "Disobedience," Sebastián Lelio’s follow-up to his 2017 Oscar-winning film "A Fantastic Woman," and his first English-language film, starts with a Rabbi giving a sermon about free will. This is richly satisfying and powerfully acted work. These all feel like real people, not caricatures. The drama takes place in the Orthodox Jewish community of north London. But Lelio’s drama is not simply about this, because it is clear that Esti is not in fact so estranged from Ronit as first appeared, and this homecoming triggers a new independence of mind in her that makes everyone very uneasy. Rather daringly, he is teaching the Song Of Songs in his own scriptural class and permitting candid discussion of its erotic qualities. The shock on Weisz's face is eloquent, although we don't know the backstory yet. In a 1950s film, she'd play a perky ingenue. he question of whose disobedience, and what kind of disobedience it is, are at the heart of this absorbing and moving love story from Chilean director Sebastián Lelio, his English language debut, following very quickly on the heels of his film A Fantastic Woman which has been a festival-circuit hit this year. She is a teacher in a girls school and enjoys her work. The "mood" at the table is far from friendly or warm, but it's also not toxic. In "A Fantastic Woman," a trans woman fought to be allowed to grieve for her dead lover, and Lelio's focus on the cruelty of the surrounding world pushed the film into a nightmare-scape. She knows what the depths are, but she can't get there in the way a Lili Taylor, or Elizabeth Moss, or Natalie Portman could. He speaks of angels, beasts, and Adam and Eve. But McAdams is so inherently positive. But the truth must be faced up to, and a much-feared homecoming is necessary. Put it all out there. But cinema can make melodrama seem not just real, but urgent and relevant. But when she has to show Esti's anguish at being forced to marry in order to cure her of wanting to sleep with women, she can't get to the depths required. Ronit's arrival throws everything into confusion. Even the strict culture of Orthodox Judaism isn't really a villain. Weisz conveys her grief, her disorientation, her borderline-hysterical need to mock the pieties. He says, fearsomely, that humans are "free to choose." We see her leading a class in discussing Shakespeare’s Othello. This is playing with fire, since it soon becomes clear that Esti and Ronit had an adolescent romance, well-known to the community at the time. In a way, time stopped for the both of them. But he is not a tyrant or a bully and he is himself conflicted in various ways about Ronit’s reappearance. There an overwhelming passion and eroticism to this reunion, especially in contrast to the dutiful marital lovemaking between Dovid and Esti which Lelio had already shown us: trying of course for a baby. She's wonderful here when showing mischievous delight sneaking a puff off Ronit's cigarette. Lelio's approach helps us feel we are thrust into the middle of a very tight-knit community, with a long shared history. The colors of the film are subdued and chilly, all blacks, greys, smoky-blues, so that at times it looks like a black-and-white photograph. One of Ronit’s most misjudged attempts at diplomacy is to try wearing a wig herself, a temporary gesture which succeeds only in irritating everyone and reminding her late father’s friends how much they still resent her desertion. "Disobedience" could have gone even further in the direction of "Stella Dallas"-melodrama torment. In the bedroom, before sex, Esti had listlessly removed not just her clothes but her wig: the badge of female piety. Underline as you go. So straight, though, it is sometimes a detriment. In literature, melodrama can come off as overblown, preachy. You could see why she wanted to stay, why she had to stay.). These obvious choices really stick out. Foreground the theme. It stings. He is set to step into Rav Krushka's sizable shoes. Because she has learned of the death of her father, a much-respected rabbi: a fierce, potent cameo for Anton Lesser. Then he drops dead. It takes some time before you figure out who Dovid is to Ronit, although from their behavior you can tell they once were close. The relationship between Ronit and Esti, past and present, is clearly the focal point of the film, but Lelio takes his time getting there. Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola are at the top of their game, perhaps especially Nivola in a supporting role; he achieves a sympathy and maturity that I have never seen from him before. This is a family. In one scene in "A Fantastic Woman," Aretha's "(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman" is prominently featured, and in a scene in "Disobedience," to break an awkward silence with Esti, Ronit spins the dial on the radio and stops on The Cure's "Love Song," which just so happens to narrate perfectly the emotions of the moment. Exposition is always awkward, so Lelio doesn't bother with it at all. Toronto film festival 2017 Disobedience review – Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams impress in powerful love story The English language debut from Chilean director Sebastián Lelio is … A lively debate occurs, and when Esti pops in unexpectedly with a cutting observation, Ronit stares at her from across the table, thrilled. These were two women whose normal adolescent crush was banned. She forgets herself and almost hugs him in a friendly greeting, and then laughs when he recoils from her touch. The rabbi who dropped dead was Rav Krushka (Anton Lesser), an important figure in the London Orthodox Jewish community. It's the kind of movie where teachers are shown giving lectures which directly comment on the action of the movie. Dovid and his young rabbinical students discuss sensuous love and its importance, and Esti discusses "Othello" with her students. Dovid himself is a wiry, muscular warrior of the faith. as Rabbi Dovid Kuperman, Get Lost in the Experience of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Kaley Cuoco Stars in the Highly Entertaining The Flight Attendant on HBO Max, The Mandalorian Chapter 13 Recap: The Child Has a Name, Chaz Ebert Debuts Song I Remember People, Performed Quarantine-Style by The Chicago Soul Spectacular. Sheila O'Malley received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Rhode Island and a Master's in Acting from the Actors Studio MFA Program. The poignancy of her dad’s modest family home and his death bed, moved downstairs to the front room in his final days, reinforces the severity and austerity of Ronit’s family background - and also how sensationally transgressive her renewed affair with Esti is.
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