GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem (2015)
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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Critic Reviews for GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
It's tough and unsparing, but the grimness is never gratuitous.
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.
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.
A microcosm of women victimized by patriarchal institutions worldwide as well as an allegory of the universal struggle for freedom.
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.
Audience Reviews for GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
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.
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.
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