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Wedding Doll 

Wednesday, Jun 29 2016
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Nitzan Giladi's Wedding Doll is a low-key, occasionally heartbreaking drama. Hagit (Moran Rosenblatt) is a cheerful, mildly developmentally disabled 24-year-old who lives on the edge of the picturesque Ramon Crater in Israel with her protective mother, Sara (Assi Levy). The wedding-obsessed Hagit works in a toilet paper factory, where she's having a clandestine affair with the factory owner's son Omri (Roy Assif). She dreams of marrying him one day, wearing a gown of her own design — she makes tiny models of brides from toilet paper and tubes — all while striving for more independence than Sara is willing to give her. Though the main narrative thrust is Hagit's relationship with Omri, and her mostly impossible fantasies of marriage — including some troubling scenes of emotional cruelty at the hands of Omri's buddies — the picture's true heart is the relationship between Hagit and Sara. It's one of the few of the "selfless mother" subgenre of women's-weepies in recent years that feels emotionally honest. (It stands in stark contrast to Ma Ma, for example.) But Wedding Doll ultimately lives and dies on Rosenblatt's open, vulnerable performance in a tricky role, and she makes you feel Hagit's every joy and pain as she navigates a world that proves to be far less sunny and welcoming than her smile.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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