This will be the first of several reviews from this year’s Tribeca film Festival. To follow our coverage, click here.
Synopsis: A woman returns to the community that shunned her for her attraction to a childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality. (IMDB)
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, and Alessandro Nivola
Writers: Sebastián Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz
Director: Sebastián Lelio
Rating: 14A (Canada)/R (United States)
Running Time: 114mins
It’s easy to get “Carol” vibes from a film featuring a romantic relationship between two women but the difference between Disobedience and Carol is that this film has a little more going for it. The story is about a woman named Ronit (Weisz), a black sheep in her Jewish community, returns home after the death of her father, a prominent rabbi (Anton Lesser). There, she begins to rekindle her relationship with her childhood friend Esti (McAdams) who just happens to be married to their mutual friend, another rabbi named Dovid (Nivola).
Ronit’s battle for acceptance within her community meanwhile grieving the death of her father was compelling to watch, however, it seemed to get lost after her romance with Esti. Though there wasn’t a backstory to explain it, it did not come out of nowhere, slowly building throughout the film. Ronit did not get all the focus as their relationship coincided with Esti’s growing disillusion with her community.
The film would not have worked nearly as well if not for all the performances, especially Weisz and McAdams. Weisz and McAdams’ excellent performances and chemistry sold Ronit and Esti’s relationship. Their facial expressions and body language conveyed more than any words could. Nivola was great in his own right. On a side note, the score was good at times while also not fitting in others.
Overall, this was a beautiful and poignant romantic drama with a compelling story made better by the performances from Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams.