Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

Joseph Cedar may be one of Israel’s most respected dramatic filmmakers, but he was born in New York City, lived there until he was six, and returned as a young man to earn a graduate degree in film at New York University. Raised in Jerusalem and now based in Tel Aviv, Cedar has won growing acclaim for a series of dramas steeped in the culture and politics of his adopted home—most notably Beaufort (2007), which drew on his experiences as a teenage soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces, and Footnote (2011), about the professional rivalry between a disgraced Talmudic scholar and his up-and-coming son. Both earned Oscar nominations for best foreign-language film, and Footnote grossed a respectable $2 million on the U.S. art-house circuit. Now Cedar makes his English-language debut with the excellent Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, a U.S.-Israeli coproduction set in Manhattan and featuring such familiar faces as Michael Sheen, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Steve Buscemi, and Richard Gere in the title role. Continue reading >>