Disobedience

Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio (Gloria, A Fantastic Woman) makes his English-language debut with this romantic drama set amid London’s Orthodox Jewish community. When a distinguished rabbi dies, his estranged daughter (Rachel Weisz) returns from New York City to attend his funeral and resumes her love affair with a childhood friend (Rachel McAdams) who has tried to suppress her lesbianism by marrying the rabbi’s protege (Alessandro Nivola). Lelio, who collaborated with screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz to adapt a novel by Naomi Alderman, displays his usual sureness with actors—the performances are sensitive and relatable—yet his depiction of traditional Jewish life is unconvincing. From the very start he stacks the deck in favor of Weisz’s secularized character, and as a result the Orthodox community becomes little more than the backdrop for a simple lesson about following your heart.