The next film from acclaimed Chilean writer-director Sebastián Lelio is Disobedience, a romantic drama based on Naomi Alderman’s 2007 novel of the same name. The Bleecker Street film stars a pair of Academy Award-nominated Rachels—Weisz and McAdams—as lovers whose attraction is forbidden by their faith.
Disobedience follows Ronit Krushka (Weisz), who, after the death of her estranged father, returns to the Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her decades earlier for her attraction to a childhood friend: Esti Kuperman (McAdams). Soon enough, the two women find their passion rekindled as they “explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality,” per the film’s synopsis. McAdams’ character is married to Alessandro Nivola’s (A Most Violent Year), a rabbi who is also Ronit’s cousin, further complicating matters.
Weisz won an Oscar for her supporting role in 2005’s The Constant Gardener, and McAdams was nominated for her supporting performance in 2015’s Spotlight. Either actress could carry a film of this nature on their own, so seeing their talents combined will be a treat. The trailer itself is deceptively nerve-racking, a placid setting of the stage that belies the tension bubbling beneath every surface. It emphasizes the spaces between us, the strictures—unspoken or otherwise—by which we are governed, and the bravery required simply to be one’s self.
Lelio adapted Disobedience’s screenplay alongside Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Ida). The writer-director’s 2017 film A Fantastic Woman was nominated for an Oscar of its own, and is considered by many to be the favorite to take home the Best Foreign-Language Film statuette at this year’s 90th Academy Awards. Lelio’s breakout feature was 2013’s lovely Gloria.
See the Disobedience trailer above and the film’s stunning poster below. Bleecker Street will release the film in select theaters on April 27.