‘Wed­ding Doll’ a quiet look at com­ing of age

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - South Broward - - MOVIES - By Katie Walsh

Nitzan Gi­ladi’s qui­etly as­sured film “Wed­ding Doll,” fol­lows a young learn­ingdis­abled women, Hagit, through her jour­ney to gain in­de­pen­dence in a world that isn’t as sweet as her op­ti­mistic dis­po­si­tion.

Lead ac­tress Mor­gan Rosen­blatt por­trays the sunny, naive Hagit with a sense of a fully formed and de­tailed in­ner life, filled with dreams and de­ter­mi­na­tion.

Hagit has a job at a toi­let pa­per fac­tory where she har­bors a crush on the owner’s son, Omri (Roy As­saf ), and cre­ates tiny bri­dal dolls out of toi­let pa­per rolls. There’s a mu­tual af­fec­tion be­tween them, but when the fac­tory might close down, it threat­ens to tear them apart, and dis­rupts the sta­bil­ity she’s MPAA rating: Not rated. In He­brew and English with English sub­ti­tles. Run­ning time: 1:22 Opens: Fri­day achieved.

It’s dif­fi­cult to pull off a sen­si­tive and re­al­is­tic de­pic­tion of men­tally chal­lenged or de­vel­op­men­tally dis­abled peo­ple on film, es­pe­cially when the ac­tor isn’t dis­abled. Rosen­blatt’s per­for­mance is lived-in and re­spect­ful, but there are times when it seems that Hagit is just a quirky, non­tra­di­tional girl with a halt­ing speech pat­tern.

The truly re­mark­able per­for­mance comes from Assi Levy, play­ing Hagit’s mother, Sara. She wants to pro­tect and take care of her daugh­ter but has a hard time let­ting go, try­ing to pro­tect her from the evils and un­fair­ness of the world while also main­tain­ing her own in­de­pen­dent life. She’s di­vorced, she’s try­ing to date, but car­ing for Hagit gets in the way of both her love life and her work.

Gi­ladi uses in­ter­est­ing ex­te­rior shots with flat, sym­met­ri­cal fram­ing to high­light the colors and shapes of the ar­chi­tec­ture against the vast desert land­scape; the small town drama is so much tinier in per­spec­tive.

Many nar­ra­tive threads are in­tro­duced, al­though some are jet­ti­soned for the more ob­vi­ously dra­matic de­noue­ment, sac­ri­fic­ing to­tal nar­ra­tive clo­sure. “Wed­ding Doll” is a small film with a unique take on com­ing of age and find­ing one’s own place in a world that’s of­ten un­wel­com­ing to peo­ple who are dif­fer­ent.

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