Solid Debut

Rating: NNNNdover koshashvili is a georgian-born Israeli in his early 30s. His debut feature, Late Marriage, is the story of.


Rating: NNNN

dover koshashvili is a georgian-born Israeli in his early 30s. His debut feature, Late Marriage, is the story of a Georgian-born Israeli in his early 30s who’s under intense pressure from his parents to marry.It is not a comedy.

Graduate student Zaza (Lior Ashkenazi) is being dragged to meet marriageable young women by his parents and their marriage broker. He prefers to spend his time with a divorced woman (Ronit Elkabetz) three years his senior who already has a daughter. This is not what his parents want, and they decide to get the whole family together to break it up.

Late Marriage is as much nightmare as autobiography. Raised in the freedom of a new country, a young man finds his parents have brought the old-country ways with them and are determined to keep them alive by any means necessary.

His mother — played by the director’s mother, Lili Koshashvili, which must have led to some interesting days on the set — is particularly opposed to his liaison with “that whore.”

Late Marriage, arriving after a tour of the festival circuit and having premiered last year in the official selection at Cannes, is a striking debut because of its unflinching depiction of family tensions in a unique cultural context, because of Elkabetz’s performance and because this new director has a very sure sense of dramatic construction. There are remarkably few scenes — fewer than 20, most of them long by Hollywood standards — but the director and his cast never let our attention wander.

LATE MARRIAGE written and directed by Dover Koshashvili, produced by Marek Rozenbaum and Edgard Tenenbaum, with Lior Ashkenazi, Ronit Elkabetz, Moni Moshonov and Lili Koshashvili. 100 minutes. A Seville Pictures release. Opens Friday (May 3). For venues and times, see First-Run Movies, page 80. Rating: NNNN

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