Film recommendation: Disobedience

Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams give superb performances in this powerful love story set in London’s Orthodox Jewish community.

In this rich and impressive drama, adapted from Naomi Alderman’s 2006 novel of the same name, bohemian photographer Ronit (Rachel Weisz) returns home to north London when her rabbi father dies. She is now an outsider from the Orthodox Jewish community, having left London years earlier for New York and there is uncertainty about her return. But her old friends Esti and Dovid (Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola), who have stayed in their community and are now married, welcome her.

As Ronit and Esti’s passionate feelings from their youth start to resurface, so do the suspicions of their conservative community. This is a tender love story, beautifully played, which refuses to take sides but takes a compassionate look at the balance between religion and modern life, between our own desires and the demands of our communities.

Adapted by its director Sebastián Lelio (A Fantastic Woman) and Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Ida, Colette) from Naomi Alderman’s 2006 novel of the same name, the film won and was nominated for various awards in 2018. Disobedience is currently available free for UK residents on All4, and can be rented online in other countries.

[quote]The performances from Weisz, McAdams and Nivola are faultlessly nuanced, anchoring the film with a frank sincerity that gives Disobedience a heartfelt realism. Nivola’s portrayal of stoic religious devotion is perhaps his finest performance to date, whilst Weisz’s guilt-racked rebellious streak plays off McAdams’ seeming naivety with knife-sharp precision. Depicting the soul-searching crossroads they face when deciding between deep-seated spiritual belief and personal freedom, Disobedience is a quietly devastating tale of forbidden love that has a crushing universality.  Chloe Catchpole, Empire[/quote]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgoKZ3zORfE

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