The Lost Lover


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

A film of such innocence should have charm, even joy. It has beauty (Juliet Aubrey) and goodness (Ciaran Hinds) and Phyllida Law in glorious form, as an East European Jewish grandmother, but what it doesn't have is passion.

Adam (Hinds) is an unlikely garage owner in Tel Aviv, since he doesn't appear to know much about how cars work and spends most of his time away from the place. His wife, Asya (Aubrey), is a teacher, who works all hours and looks miserable. Their daughter, Dafi (Clara Bryant) is teenage and bolshy.

Along comes a flakey French boy called Gabriel (Stuart Bunce), with floppy hair and soppy ideas about capturing the scent of flowers in bottles. Asya starts wandering around the house naked and smiling a lot, which annoys Dafi and worries Adam.

Gabriel disappears. Asya goes back to being miserable and Adam drives around Israel looking for him. As a cuckolded husband, he's not playing by the rules. He's being too nice.

There is a sub-plot involving Dafi and a young Palestinian boy (Erick Vazquez), which is used to advocate a let's-love-each-other-not-kill-each-other philosophy of Arab-Jewish relations, which seems altogether too simplistic.

The film was shot in areas that are now in conflict. This is more interesting than whether Asya and Gabriel will wander carefree through the market place hand-in-hand ever again.

Reviewed on: 24 Jan 2001
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Adultery in Tel Aviv.

Director: Roberto Faenza

Writer: Roberto Faenza, Sandro Petraglia, based on The Lover by Abraham B Yehoshua

Starring: Ciaran Hinds, Juliet Aubrey, Stuart Bunce, Erick Vazquez, Clara Bryant

Year: 1999

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Italy


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