Comedian Adir Miller is cast, with a full but short beard, as a fellow with a secretive profession. In his personal life, he is cut off from the woman he loves. He hires our protagonist, who can always use a little money, to facilitate his snooping. He scornfully nicknames the protagonist, with whom his working relationship is strained because they see the case from different points of view. That brief description fits both THE WONDERS and Avi Nesher's previous film THE MATCHMAKER (or ONCE I WAS). Regarding Adir Miller's character, the main difference is that in THE WONDERS he doesn't smile. But THE WONDERS is a further artistic step for Nesher because a string of successes in Israel (following a sojourn in the USA that seems to have been less successful) seems to have given Nesher the confidence to follow his instincts past the point where everything in the movie fits together traditionally. Nesher dares to revisit Alice in Wonderland (having visited it before in his American movie RITUAL), he fiddles with animation, he takes risks in casting. One reviewer complains that as Nesher's protagonist roams here and there on his mission, the story ultimately adds up to no clear message unless you count a bit of ethnic stereotyping. But for the most part, the movie seems to be enjoying an enthusiastic reception, and in my opinion rightly so.
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