A Price Above Rubies
Netherlands released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), Dutch ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN, SPECIAL FEATURES: Biographies, Filmographies, Interactive Menu, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: This movie is about a young woman who is married to a devout Jew and the problems that trouble their marriage because of her wanting something more out of her life. ...A Price Above Rubies
- Language : English
- Director : Boaz Yakin
- Media Format : Import, PAL, Widescreen
- Run time : 116 minutes
- Actors : Christopher Eccleston, Ren馥 Zellweger, Julianna Margulies, Allen Payne, Glenn Fitzgerald
- Subtitles: : Dutch
- Studio : Dutch Film Works
- ASIN : B08PCQJ913
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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Unhappy marriages occur in cultures the world over, and while the story does expose some of the hypocrisies of Orthodox culture, it isn't, per se, about those hypocrisies, nor does it reduce Orthodox culture to them. It's about Sonia Horowitz's struggle to find out where she really belongs - in doing so she makes huge mistakes and pays a heavy price for her dearly-bought self-knowledge. I've known people who left communities like this one precisely because they couldn't handle the restrictions - that's not an indictment of Orthodox Judaism, it only demonstrates that not everyone born into a certain culture actually belongs there.
The performances are excellent - special mention must go to Christopher Eccleston (a "goy" from Manchester, England, if you please!) for his coldly compelling performance as Sonia's amoral brother-in-law. Eccleston, more familiar to mainstream audiences as the baleful Duke of Norfolk to Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth I, playing an Orthodox jeweler in Brooklyn's Borough Park, is one of those wonderful mysteries of art that one can only be glad about. His fine performance aside, one of the flaws of the film is that there is insufficient background for his character's utter lack of conscience - we are only told through the narration of one childhood incident that he has always been so. Glenn Fitzgerald gives a sensitive performance as Mendel, Sonia's husband, as he struggles to come to terms with his wife's upheaval, and the dawning knowledge that they are dismally unsuited to each other. Renee Zellwegger gives an emotionally fraught performance as Sonia - this actress is talented, but displays now-recognizable mannerisms that she needs to bring under control. However, in this role, as the character is virtually having a nervous breakdown, these mannerisms served her well. The rest of the cast is very believable, as well, including Julia Margulies as Sonya's overbearing sister-in-law.
To say that a "sincere Jew" doesn't ignore his wife, as a reviewer below did, is absurd. Mahatma Gandhi was a terrible husband and parent. Sincere people everywhere do stupid things. Sonia's husband is deeply involved with his spiritual life - Mendel's obsession with Talmudic law and spiritual goodness, while oblivious to his wife's emotional needs and sufferings until far too late, could be transposed to the marriage of any exceptionally dedicated spouse following a cause, career, or religious passion. These conflicts are what give narratives tension and interest.
The film doesn't pretend to be anything but the story of Sonia Horowitz's emotional and spiritual struggle to figure out who she really is. I didn't take it any other way and only someone who is already bigoted would.
The movie is worth seeing, and demonstrates the uncomfortable reality that marriage serves different purposes for different people - one may be content within a strictly defined role, and find all his or her needs met within that role, while another, for no identifiable reason, does not.