To Dust | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 105 minutes · 2018

His searing lead performance in Son of Saul (2015) established Géza Röhrig overnight as a prodigiously gifted dramatic actor, but who knew he could also be funny? In this screwball comedy about death and mourning, he's by turns hapless, endearing, and more than a little nuts as an upstate New York Hasidic cantor plagued by nightmares about his recently deceased wife's corpse decaying in her grave. Determined to learn how quickly her dust will return to dust, he badgers a pot-smoking, burned-out community college science teacher (Matthew Broderick, master of the double take) for some hard data as to when her ruach (soul) is likely to return to God. Some cockamamie, quasi-scientific, and definitely not kosher experiments ensue; meanwhile, enthralled by a pilfered tape of the 1937 Yiddish classic The Dybbuk, the cantor's two impressionable young sons (Leo Heller, Sammy Voit) decide dad needs an exorcism. Writer-director Shawn Snyder makes a strikingly original and winsome feature debut.
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Director: Shawn Snyder
Writer: Jason Begue and Shawn Snyder
Producer: Aaron L. Gilbert, Alessandro Nivola, Anjay Nagpal, David Gendron, David Moscow, David Stone, Emily Mortimer, Jason Begue, Jason Dreyer, Jed Webber, Jonathan Gray, Joseph Siprut, Josh Crook, Laura Rosenthal, Ron Perlman, Scott Floyd Lochmus, Todd Remis and Viviana Zarragoitia
Cast: Géza Röhrig, Sammy Voit, Sarah Jes Austell, Matthew Broderick, Bern Cohen, Leo Heller, Janet Sarno, Stephanie Kurtztuba, Ben Hammer, Larry Owens, Aaron Raksin, Jill Marie Lawrence, Joseph Siprut, Zalman Raksin, Natalie Carter, Marceline Hugot, Ziv Zaifman, Isabelle Phillips, Leanne Watson and Yael Davidovics


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