Posts Tagged ‘alessandro nivola’

Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams

“DISOBEDIENCE” My rating: B 

114 minutes | MPAA rating: R

“Disobedience” is being described as a lesbian love story. Admittedly, it’s shot through with erotic yearnings

But that label is too limiting. This latest effort from Chilean auteur Sebastian Lelio (whose “A Fantastic Woman” won the foreign language Oscar this year) is more accurately about breaking away from an unfulfilling past to face a future of uncertain possibilities.

Ronit Krushka (Rachel Weisz) has already made that break.  The only child of the rabbi of an uber-orthodox Jewish community in London, Ronit years earlier fled that insular world and the likelihood of an arranged marriage, moved to New York, changed her name to Ronnie Curtis and launched a career as a fine arts photographer concentrating on society’s fringes.

Upon receiving the news that her widowed father has died, Ronit goes to a nightclub, drinks and dances and ends up having sex with a man in the restroom.

Everyone grieves in their own way.

Flying to London, Ronit is met with varying degrees of compassion and suspicion. Some members of the religious community shun her; the newspaper obit states that her father “had no children.”  But she’s given a room by her father’s long-time student/disciple David (Alessandro Nivola) and his wife Esti (Rachel McAdams). The three were friends during their teenage years.

Ronnie begins to question the wisdom of returning. Her father’s will gives all his possessions, including his house, to the synagogue. And she’s perturbed that Esti, who as an adolescent shared her dissatisfaction with life in a strict religious community, is now the wife of the man who stands to become the new leader of that community.



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Elle Fanning, Alice Englert

Elle Fanning, Alice Englert

“GINGER & ROSA”  My rating: B- (Opening April 5 at the Glenwood at Red Bridge)

90 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

When confronted by someone of fierce political and social commitment – particularly if their bent is way to the left – I always wonder  if  they’re really that dedicated to the cause or whether the cause fills some desperate void in their life.

You don’t have to wonder for too long in Sally Potter’s “Ginger & Rosa,” a film about an impressionable and innocent London teen who converts her anger and anxiety over personal betrayals into a righteous anti-nuke crusade.

The girls of the title are among the first of Britain’s post-war baby boomers. It’s 1962 and Ginger (Elle Fanning) and Rosa (Alice Englert, daughter of director Jane Campion) are coming of age beneath the threat of nuclear annihilation.

On one level they’re just regular kids who listen to rock ‘n’ roll, giggle conspiratorially, dream about boys and shrink their new blue jeans by wearing them into the bathtub.

On another level, though, the two young friends are nascent radical activists, terrified of dying in a radioactive mushroom cloud and determined to do something about it.


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