GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes

GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (2015)

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Critic Consensus: On paper, GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem might seem less than thrilling, but on the screen, it delivers two hours of nonstop, tightly wound, brilliantly acted drama.

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Movie Info

An Israeli woman (Ronit Elkabetz) seeking to finalize her divorce from her cruel and manipulative husband finds herself effectively put on trial by her country's religiously-based marriage laws, in this riveting drama from sibling directors Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz (Late Marriage and The Band's Visit) who is also one of Israeli cinema's most acclaimed actresses. In Israel there is neither civil marriage nor civil divorce; only rabbis can legalize a marriage or its dissolution, which is only possible with the husband's full consent. Viviane Amsalem has been applying for a divorce for three years but her husband Elisha (Simon Ebkarian of Casino Royale and Persepolis), will not agree. His cold intransigence, Viviane's determination to fight for her freedom, and the ambiguous role of the judges shape a procedure in which tragedy vies with absurdity, and where everything is brought out for judgment, apart from the initial request. (C) Music Box Films

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Cast

Eli Gornstein
as Main Judge
Rami Danon
as 1st Deputy
Roberto Pollack
as 2nd Deputy
Keren Mor
as Galia
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Critic Reviews for GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

All Critics (70) | Top Critics (25)

It's tough and unsparing, but the grimness is never gratuitous.

April 9, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Ultimately the movie is wearying, but then it's likely supposed to be. If Viviane's going through the wringer, you're going through the wringer too.

April 3, 2015 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

Shot in intense close-ups, the better to study the emotions burning off the characters' skin, the film is all talk and gestures, but it begins to take your breath away like a chase movie would.

March 20, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

A microcosm of women victimized by patriarchal institutions worldwide as well as an allegory of the universal struggle for freedom.

March 19, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

As Viviane laments, this kind of thing wouldn't happen in America. True, but there's not an actress in America who wouldn't twist her hair into a bun for the chance to play this role.

March 19, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Suspenseful, wonderfully acted, emotionally jarring.

March 12, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
Newsday
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

½

An infuriating look into a misogynist, patriarchal society/legal system dominated by outrageous religious values that force women to be in a position of submission and humiliation before their husbands - which is something that seems inevitable in a theocratic state like Israel.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

Three years after having separated from her husband Elisha(Simon Abkarian), Viviane(Ronit Elkabetz, who co-wrote and co-directed with Shlomi Elkabetz) wants a divorce. However, that is not as easy as it sounds, as she discovers when she is joined by her lawyer Carmel(Menashe Noy) in rabbinical court. First, she is told by the judges to move back in with her husband. When that does not work out, they return to court where Elisha is very uninterested in showing up again. When he does return to court months later, it is with his brother Shimon(Sasson Gabay), a rabbi, and is still not wanting to give his wife a divorce. So, witnesses are called. If done right, courtroom dramas can explore any number of hot button issues. As such, "Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem" is the best one in a long time in not only being a powerful examination of how hard it is for a woman to be granted a divorce in Orthodox Judaism, but also bringing it expertly down to a personal level, as led by a stunning performance from Ronit Elkabetz. Then, through a series of side stories told by the witnesses, the viewer can see that Viviane's case is not an isolated one.(Currently, there are people facing criminal charges for physically intimidating recalcitrant husbands in cases like these.) Overall, the movie's limited location of the courthouse also serves to claustrophobically illustrate her precarious position.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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