This year, the Sundance Film Festival decided to bestow its top prize, the Grand Jury Prize for a U.S. Drama, on Desiree Akhavan’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post (henceforth Miseducation), an adaptation of Emily Danforth’s novel of the same name.
Like the other movie Sebastián Lelio released this year, A Fantastic Woman, Disobedience seeks to capture the emotional psychology of a non-heterosexual female. But while Fantastic centered on a trans Chilean singer, Disobedience’s protagonist is Ronit (Rachel Weisz), a lesbian who works as a photographer in New York. When the film opens, Ronit learns that her father (Anton Lesser), the spiritual leader of a secluded, London-based Orthodox Jewish community, has suddenly passed away. And when she returns home for his funeral, she receives still more unexpected news: Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), her father’s protégé, has gotten hitched with Esti (Rachel McAdams), a woman with whom Ronit once had a passionate, forbidden affair.