Sebastián Lelio (A Fantastic Woman) follows up his recent Oscar win with Disobedience, an unforgettable drama that will have everyone talking.

After being told her father has died, Ronit (Rachel Weisz) returns home to attend the funeral of the highly-respected rabbi.  She feels unwanted upon arrival, but Ronit expected those feelings having been shunned by her Orthodox North London community.  She reunites with estranged friends Dovid (Alessandro Nivola) and Esti (Rachel McAdams), who have since married each other.  However, as Esti and Ronit exchange frail conversations and coy expressions, it’s obvious that some unresolved issues extend past the surface.  Dovid, an Orthodox traditionalist who has been influenced by Ronit’s late father, feels pressure to stay true to his values but also keep certain secrets suppressed for the good of his family, even if those unspoken words are yearning to be embraced.

Through an intimate scope, Weisz, McAdams, and Nivola play their roles with mannered expertise and pulsating tension.  It’s also important to note that the actors are able to pull their own weight within their own dynamic.  For instance, the friendship that Weisz and McAdams rekindle is convincing, and even more so when their characters rediscover themselves.  While Weisz’s emotional range is undoubtably impressive, Disobedience is a career-best effort for McAdams.  The accomplished star ties the film’s sexual tension to the unspoken cultural disconnect between herself and Nivola’s perfectly understated performance.

Disobedience is a multi-layered showcase that will affect audiences one way or another.


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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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