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Late Marriage Review

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A traditionalist Israeli mother seeks to matchmake her academic son, Zaza with a variety of teenage virgins.

★★★★★

The twin evils of cultural conformity and emotional blackmail are exposed in this Israeli-set comedy from debuting director Dover Kosashvili. Yet, while the social acerbity is often razor sharp, the dark humour cuts so close to the nerve that witnessing the disintegration of a family riven by much more than a generation gap is a decidedly uncomfortable experience.

The director's own mother, Lili Kosashvili, excels as the traditionalist seeking to matchmake her academic son, Zaza (Ashkenazi), with a variety of teenage virgins. But it's the chemistry between Zaza and Judith (Elkabetz), an older Moroccan divorcee with a toddler daughter, that gives the film its heart and makes the no-holds clashes with his furious parents all the more painful.

Ending on a note of strained optimism, this astute satire rarely fails to both trouble and entertain.

Ending on a note of strained optimism, this astute satire rarely fails to both trouble and entertain.