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When a beloved north London rabbi dies, his estranged only child, photographer Ronit (Rachel Weisz), returns home from New York to mourn him. Reconnecting with her childhood friends Dovid (Alessandro Nivola) and Esti (Rachel McAdams), Ronit is reminded of the suffocating restrictions of the religious community she fled, as well as her untenable teenage love affair with the otherwise devout Esti.
Based on Naomi Alderman’s 2006 novel and directed by Argentinian-Chilean film-maker Sebastián Lelio (Gloria, A Fantastic Woman), this textbook forbidden romance feels as unrelentingly drab and moody as a grey November day, save a few fiery moments of rekindled passion sparked by the Cure’s 1989 pop hit Lovesong. Weisz and McAdams animate their roles; Weisz plays witty and wizened, while McAdams seems winded by the force of her own emotions, face crumpling convincingly into a cry. Still, Ronit and Esti – the liberal outcast and the pious wife respectively – are flat archetypes on the page. Frustrating, too, that Lelio seems to end the film five times, unable to settle on a convincing, or satisfying conclusion.
Source: The Guardian
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