Golda kicks off a season of “Oscar bait”, movies that try very hard to make an impression towards the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  As much as Guy Nattiv’s film may have been conceived from a good place, with the movie’s heavy use of make-up and prosthetics to transform Oscar-winner Helen Mirren into Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, it’s hard for viewers to dismiss this possible pandering.

Mirren is good as Meir and her physical transformation is impressive but, no matter how hard we try to accept the movie for what it is, the problematic nature of this make-up being applied to Mirren instead of casting an Israeli actor is unavoidably uncomfortable.  She’s also a performer who has shown audiences before that she’s more than capable of identifying with a character without using gimmicky tactics to literally embody the role.  Here, she feels muddled and restrained behind wasted resources.

The movie primarily captures a 19-day stretch as Egypt and Syria engaged with Israel, leading to 1972’s Yom Kippur War.  Though composed, Meir (still fresh from Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War) is stricken with fear and anxiety as the weight of devising life-or-death strategies with other commanders gradually sets in.

Nattiv doesn’t show much of the war, and would rather stick closely with Meir and her team in war rooms, bunkers, and the solace she tries to find in bed.  These directorial decisions mostly benefit this bottled feature as the filmmaker finds ways to mirror the overlapping the emotions and action felt on the battlefront and from behind closed doors.  Though some stylistic choices are memorable, Golda doesn’t build enough interest to sustain a feature-length movie.  Instead, the movie results in too many static reactions and inaccessible exchanges that haphazardly glue together an otherwise boring biopic.


Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple:

Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.