Director Sebastián Lelio is best known for his best foreign language Oscar winner, a Fantastic Woman. I found his follow-up, Disobedience to be similar in that it is commendable in many ways, but doesn’t quite live up to the sum of its parts.
Romit (Rachel Weisz) works as a photographer in New York. When her father – a rabbi – dies, she returns to the suburban English town of her childhood for the funeral. She finds that her ex-lover Esti (Rachel McAdams) has got married to their mutual friend Dovid (Alessandro Nivola). The community that shunned her before is still quietly hostile and Romit and Esti’s passions soon reignite.
The characters are well-drawn and the intelligent script avoids any histrionics. Nivola and McAdams are particularly good in their roles but unfortunately, the story does unfold in a predictable way. Maybe if I was Jewish or religious in anyway, I might have found the film more provocative, but like Apostasy earlier in the year, I find it hard to understand the arcane beliefs in evidence. Instead I admired the quality of the film making and the performances without being fully engaged in the story.
Rating: 7 out of 10