CVIndependent

Fri07192019

Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

After being banished from her Orthodox Jewish community due to a small scandal with a local girl, Ronit (Rachel Weisz) returns to her London home years later upon hearing her father, a prestigious rabbi, has passed away.

With that, the stage is set for Disobedience, a stunner from Sebastián Lelio (A Fantastic Woman) and a showcase for Weisz and Rachel McAdams as Esti, the woman with whom Ronit had the affair. Esti is now married to Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), and has been repressing her true sexuality for years in Ronit’s absence. When Ronit returns … well, things happen.

Lelio explores not just repressed sexuality, but the influence (both good and bad) of religion in the small community. Weisz and McAdams are mighty convincing as lovers, while Nivola offers up a few big surprises as the husband who shouldn’t really be Esti’s husband. The three have moments together that count as some of the best performed scenes of the year.

Disobedience is available on DVD and Blu-Ray, and via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing

Transgender actress Daniela Vega delivers a great performance in an OK film from Chilean director Sebastian Lelio.

In A Fantastic Woman, she plays Marina, a club singer at night and waitress by day who has a boyfriend twice her age in Orlando (Francisco Reyes). After celebrating her birthday, Orlando falls ill and dies, leaving Marina to deal with his family and authorities. Marina is persecuted by Orlando’s family, questioned by detectives about the circumstances of Orlando’s death, and restricted from attending his wake and funeral.

The story never really takes hold. The plotting is routine and unimaginative, but some fantasy sequences and a couple of musical numbers give Vega a nice opportunity to shine. She keeps the movie moving forward when the story lags.

Lelio has a few stylistic flourishes in the film, and it’s worth seeing in the end. (It won Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.) See it for Vega, who takes the film to higher levels.

A Fantastic Woman is now available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com, and is also available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Published in DVDs/Home Viewing