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Disobedience - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
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steve98052
steve98052
Disobedience
SIFF's capsule summary: "Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alessandro Nivola star in Oscar®-winning director Sebastián Lelio's (A Fantastic Woman) compassionate exploration of faith, sexuality, and freedom as told through the passionate love between two women within London's Orthodox Jewish community." (US, 2018, 114 minutes)
SIFF link: Disobedience

Disobedience is a family drama, based on a novel, about Ronit (Rachel Weisz), who returns to London for the funeral of her Orthodox rabbi father (Anton Lesser). There she also meets her dear friend from youth Esti (McAdams), and surprisingly, her Esti's new-ish husband Dovid (Alessando Nivola), and various extended family. The title refers to a speech given by the rabbi in the opening scene, that angels are only capable of good, beasts are only capable of being beasts, but humans have the freedom to choose goodness or disobedience.

5 Fair This could have been a good 85 minute film, but unfortunately it's actually a glacially paced 114 minute clock-watcher.

Acting by the three leads is excellent, but supporting cast are mixed. There was at least one nicely-choreographed sex scene, marred by male gaze, unrealistic presence of clothing during a sex act, and weird saliva. The score was very good, sometimes carrying the film through scenes where editing should have moved the plot forward instead. I was also impressed by the movie magic that made 48-year-old Rachel Weisz and 39-year-old Rachel McAdams pass for early 30s (except in a few stray shots). Although there's some worthwhile character development, particularly in Nivola's character, the film doesn't seem to live up to the acclaim the book has received.

Overall, I rate the film fair.

Languages: English, with some liturgical Hebrew.

Rating: This film has a US rating of "R", for brief nudity and MPAA prudishness about a nudity-obscured sex scene.

Screening: 2 pm, Pacific Place (room 4).
Audience: a typical SIFF press screening crowd, somewhat over 100, about 285 seats (estimated capacity).

Snacks: none.

Ads and announcements: no ads at press screenings; SIFF volunteer "J" provided announcements.

Notes to myself:

SIFF statistics: 3 films (all features), no parties.

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