Movies: The Wedding Plan, Wakefield, Angkor Awakens: A Portrait of Cambodia

The Wedding Plan

This film is a fascinating peek at ultra-Orthodox Jewish matrimonial culture.  It is concurrently layered, ambiguous, zany and consistently interesting.  It is directed by Rama Bursttein who is based in Isreal.

Leading lady Michal is wonderfully played by Noa Kooler, who gets dumped by her fiancé one month before their planned wedding.  Michal refuses to cancel the wedding plans, faithful that God will produce a groom.

The production is excellent.  The cast is outstanding.  Most notable are Oz Zehavi as the rock star, Amos Tamam as the first groom, Irit Sheleg as the Mom, and Oded Leoplod as the wedding venue host.

The genre is listed as a Drama/Romance with a PG Rating. It runs 1 hour, 50 minutes.  Hebrew with English subtitles.

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Wakefield

This is a gripping story that takes a mid-life crisis to a new level.  Bryan Cranston delivers yet another brilliant performance that dominates the film.  His character decides to “withdraw” from his normal life and takes up residence in the attic space above the garage from where he observes and critiques his family’s day to day lives.

There is a good cast as well.  Jennifer Garner is the wife.  Jason O’Mara, the replacement love interest, and a dozen other tertiary roles.

As a viewer, the story is often implausible and the ending is totally unsatisfying, but Cranston’s performance is compelling and well worth the 1 hour, 46 minutes.  It is rated R for some violence and listed as a Drama.

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Angkor Awakens: A Portrait of Cambodia

This Documentary on the current state of the people Cambodia and their reflection on the genocide in the recent past and their vision for the near future.

With a population of only 7 million people, the Khmer Rouge killed around 2 million ( +/- ) people between 1975 through 1979.  Today Cambodia has one the youngest populations averaging 25 years old.

It is sometimes painful to watch.  The film does a good job explaining the history that led up to the killing.  There are also several segments that share the emotional impact of the period.  Ultimately, the message is optimistic.

The film is not rated and runs 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Personal Note:  We visited Cambodia in about 15 years ago were impressed with how welcoming and gracious the people were.  We also noticed there were virtually a missing generation of middle aged and elderly.  It was a wonderful visit but also a painful realization of recent history.

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