The Reel Review
Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams star in this unconventional love story about two lesbian lovers caught between their love for one another and their ultra-conservative Jewish Orthodox religion. This romantic drama is based on the 2006 novel from Naomi Alderman.
When the more secular Ronit (Weisz) returns to London from New York City following the death of her prominent rabbi father, her arrival reignites romantic feelings with former lover Esti (McAdams), whom is now married to their childhood friend Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), an up and coming leader in the same insular community that shunned Ronit years earlier.
McAdams’ nuanced performance is particularly compelling with equally convincing performances from Weisz and Nivola (American Hustle, You Were Never Really Here). Despite some surprisingly graphic lovemaking scenes which distracts a bit from the story, writer/director Sebastián Lelio (A Fantastic Woman) maintains a palpable level of suspense throughout the film, keeping us guessing as to what each of the three main characters are going to do in the big finale.
• Writer/director Sebastián Lelio says despite having very different personalities, the two Rachels had fantastic chemistry together, describing Weisz as a “force of nature” and McAdams as more “meticulous,” handling the complexities of her character with a unique elegance. Lelio’s next film is the upcoming Gloria Bell, starring Julianne Moore as a middle-aged woman seeking love at L.A. dance clubs.
• This is the second film that Rachel Weisz and Alessandro Nivola have starred in together, the first being 1988’s I Want You
• The wig worn by Rachel McAdams’ character in the film is called a sheitel, worn by some Orthodox Jewish married women in order to conform to the requirement of Jewish law to cover their hair