Two women embark on a road trip after they are brought together by circumstance. Rebecca (Portman) flees her hotel after a fight with her mother-in-law (Maura) and hails a taxi driven by Hanna (Lazlo).
Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars.
A young Jewish American man endeavors to find the woman who saved his grandfather during World War II in a Ukrainian village, that was ultimately razed by the Nazis, with the help of an eccentric local.
Jonathan Safran Foer
The confused American Rebecca has left USA to live in Jordan. After breaking her engagement with her Israeli boyfriend, she asks the Israeli taxi driver Hanna to take her anywhere but the place where she is. Hanna tells her that she needs to go Jordan's Free Zone, a place surrounded by Syria, Iraq and South Arabia, to receive US$ 30,000.00 that the Palestinian partner of her husband called "The American" owes to him. When they arrive in the location, they do not find the "The American" but a Palestinian woman called Leila. Hanna forces Leila to take her to meet "The American" in his Oasis, but when they arrive there, she is informed that his son has burnt the place, stolen the money and crossed the border. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When the vehicle is just approaching the border crossing near the end of the film (1:23:00 on the DVD) we can see the silhouette of someone wearing a baseball cap moving about in the back of the vehicle. See more »
[after prolonged sitting in car crying]
Can we go? Can we leave this place? Please.
I don't know. Let's get out of here, please.
See more »
This film starts slow, ends slow, and except for an interesting, symbolic ending and a lot of driving in the Middle East, doesn't really go anywhere. As a movie, its metaphorical messages are too familiar by half.
The film opens with a single-shot, non-stop, ten (that's TEN) minutes showing the Israeli-American Rebecca (Natalie Portman) in profile, weeping voluminously because she has broken up with her boyfriend and feels alone and lost in Israel, the country of her birth. We don't have five minutes (even that would be too much); we have an agonizing TEN minutes: wholly one-ninth of the entire film.
Director Amos Gitai has made some great films, but he can also be one of the most irritating big-name directors in the world. He doesn't disappoint with this one: the irritation keeps piling up. Only he knows why he makes these peculiar choices in his films.
There are long, longggg swaths of often poorly written dialogue, spoken in extreme close-ups in a claustrophobic taxi (symbolism again) driven by the terrific Israeli actress Hana Laszlo, who plays Hanna, a woman who must visit the Free Zone in Jordan to claim $30,000 owed to her husband by a Palestinian.
The dialogue doesn't propel the plot, because there is no plot. It's instead a film about outsiders such as Portman trying to understand the age-old conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. She comes away in predictable futility, because, according to Gitai, although she was born in Israel, she didn't stay there. That's the key difference.
This is a very long 90-minute film that doesn't tell us very much, except: (a) Israelis and Palestinians just cannot get along; and (b) absentee or non-Israelis/Palestinians cannot begin to understand the conflict. That, essentially, is what this film is 'about'. And enter the problem: didn't we already know that? Isn't this just a little twist on something we've already seen more than a few times before?
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?