Directed by Sebastián Lelio
Two old friends rekindle a forbidden love.
The lesbian affair at the center of Sebastián Lelio’s new drama creates “a fascinatingly conflicted tug of war,” said David Ehrlich in IndieWire.com. Rachel Weisz stars as an expat whose return to London for the funeral of her rabbi father re-sparks a decades-old romance with a onetime teenage friend, and Rachel McAdams is “something of a revelation” in the mildly underwritten secondary role. Her Esti long ago chose to marry and remain part of the Orthodox community Weisz’s Ronit fled, and her performance “allows Disobedience to unfold as a story about Ronit falling in love with the woman she didn’t want to become.” An “incredibly erotic” sex scene between Ronit and Esti arrives late in Act 2, but “I cannot emphasize how respectful and immersive a portrait this movie is,” said Jada Yuan in NYMag.com. Lelio, who just won a foreign-language Oscar for A Fantastic Woman, presents Esti’s faith as worthy of her passion, too, and Esti’s husband, the community’s likely new rabbi, is no religious tyrant. He’d been a close friend to both women once, and Alessandro Nivola delivers a “career-best” performance in the role, said Andrew Barker in Variety. “None of these three characters is tidy, but neither is desire, nor faith, nor love.”