Restoration | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 105 minutes · 2011

Chief among the virtues of this Israeli drama is a genuine curiosity about real adult lives: among the characters are a furniture restorer, a seamstress, and a lawyer, and their work is so vividly depicted that it shapes our understanding of them. Iraqi actor Sasson Gabai (The Band's Visit) gives a quiet, nuanced performance as the elderly restorer, a stubborn craftsman struggling to avoid bankruptcy after his business-savvy partner dies. On impulse he hires a charismatic young man to work in his shop, but the stranger ends up exaggerating the tension between the old man and his nouveau riche son and daughter-in-law. The material could have been played as melodrama, but director Joseph Madmony gives each development the same careful attention he accords the scenes of work. This is the kind of novelistic filmmaking whose simple wisdom stays with you. In Hebrew with subtitles.
Director: Yossi Madmoni
Cast: Sasson Gabai, Henry David, Sarah Adler, Nevo Kimchi and Stephen Root

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