Nikol Leidman (left) and Sarah Adler tell tales in Tel Aviv.
JELLYFISH (Etgar Keret, Shira Geffen). 78 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (August 8). For venues and times, see Movies Rating: NNN
Adapted by Shira Geffen from the short stories of her partner, Etgar Keret (the two share directorial credit), Jellyfish follows a few eventful days in the lives of a number of Tel Aviv women.
A Filipino caregiver (Ma-nenita De Latorre) who speaks only a few words of Hebrew struggles to work with a cranky invalid who speaks no English. A young bride (Noa Knoller) laid up in a hotel room with a broken ankle wonders if her husband (Gera Sandler) is flirting with someone out on the stairs. An event photographer risks her job by capturing the images that intrigue her rather than shooting conventional candids of celebrants. And a newly single caterer (Sarah Adler) must push aside her anger when she encounters a mysterious young girl (Nikol Leidman) at the beach.
Everybody hurts, just as in Short Cuts, Magnolia, Crash and every other multi-character narrative we've seen in recent years.
Taken on its own merits, though, it's pleasant enough. Geffen and Keret tell their story with confidence, gliding from one character to the next with a minimum of affectation - except for a climactic flourish of magic realism that feels a bit awkward.