One Week and a Day

(2016)

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Title:
One Week and a Day
Release Date:
14th December 2016
Runtime:
98 min
MPAA Rating:
N/A
Genres:
Directors:
Asaph Polonsky
Writers:
Asaph Polonsky
Languages:
Hebrew
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

When Eyal finishes the week of mourning for his late son, his wife urges him to return to their routine but instead he gets high with a young neighbor and sets out to discover that there are still things in his life worth living for.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 0%
IMDb Rating 7.0

Casts

Carmit Mesilati Kaplan as Keren Zooler
Evgenia Dodina as Vicky Spivak
Shai Avivi as Eyal Spivak
Sharon Alexander as Shmulik Zooler
Uri Gavriel as Refael

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Jeff Sultanof 10th November, 2016

One of my favorite films of the year

I am tempted to write a long explanation and analysis of this incredible film, but a previous reviewer has done so already. To give too much away is to spoil the experience that can simply be described as an off-the-wall treatment of a tragedy. The film portrays a married couple who lost their son to cancer, and how they handle life once shiva (the week-long tradition of mourning the dead in the Jewish religion) is over. The father seems to be deeply depressed and looks for connection by hanging out with his son's friend who lives next door. The mother, a teacher who returns to teach school and is sent right back home, seems to be in shock throughout most of the film. On paper, this might read like a downbeat film, and it is anything but. It is quite hilarious. The father returns to the hospice where his son died to rescue a packet of medical marijuana and cannot role a joint. The son's friend rolls one in seconds and they both get high. There are also many poignant moments when these two visit with a young girl whose mother is at the hospice. All of the elements of comedy and drama are beautifully balanced. There is not one misstep in the story, dialogue or pacing of the film; one wants it to go on much longer than it does. The acting is uniformly excellent, and Polonsky uses widescreen beautifully to enhance the emotional back and forth of the events he films. I told Polonsky that he has a great gift. I saw this film several days ago, and it is still with me. I was delighted to see that the film will be released on video and streamed in the U.S. once it makes the rounds of the film festivals. It is the kind of movie where one can see new things with every viewing, and I can't wait to see it again.

Reviewed by Nozz 23rd October, 2016

Good work, some weaknesses in the material

They say that a drunk scene is often a sign that the scriptwriter didn't have the skill to make the characters show their inner traits and feelings in the course of normal activity. So what about a film where the main character is stoned throughout? What's odd about _Shavua ve Yom_ is that the character, a recently bereaved father, is supposed to be grief-stricken and could be forgiven for pretty much all his odd behavior anyway on that basis. But the industry has a weakness for movies that show older people behaving in a way that doesn't befit their age-- robbing banks, pursuing once- forgotten dreams, what have you. It's a gimmick, a double gimmick in this case (stoned, and too old to be a stoner), and for too much of the movie it takes the place of a plot. There is no great threat or quest to drive the action forward, and although there are quirky details and sudden gags, they don't come thick and fast enough to keep up a momentum. No one told the actors they were in an uninteresting movie, though, and they chalked up national Best Actor and Best Actress nominations, with a win for Best Supporting Actor. There were also Best Director, Best Editing, and-- what's this?-- Best Screenplay nominations. Well, there were touches of Best Screenplay quality, but gaps between them too.

Reviewed by Christian 17th October, 2016

Dealing with Death with Life Affirmation and Imagination

"A week and a Day" is Asaph Polonsky's first feature film and tries to combine drama with humour, levity and death. It does so successfully and warmed the crowd in Montreal where it received deserved praise. It deals with a tough subject, arguably the greatest loss, done slightly better and with more bitterness in 2001 with "In the Bedroom" and "Lantana". "Rabbit Hole" (2010) was also riveting, but "A week and a Day" (2016) is superior to more recent, yet good and critically acclaimed "The Broken Circle Breakdown" (2012) and very different than all the others and succeeds in a change of perspective and cinematic catharsis. An only child has died from cancer and the parents sit Shiva when the neighbours come to express their wishes. The mother and father react differently in their grieving process and the neighours and their son come to be an important part of a difficult road back to the light. Quirky and endearing, this tale, like its characters, matures from off beat to the right beat. The last 20 minutes are sublime and include an eulogy with effective editing. This eulogy as I would later learn asking a question to the director during the Q&A is a modified version of Polonsky's real father who wrote it for his sister and is very poignant and the center of the movie even if it comes very late. It is worth the wait and the voyage. As for the eccentric neighbour's son who knew the deceased and played together as youth and a little girl cancer patient who knew him in his dying days, their love for life and imagination make for two memorable scenes of air guitar playing and phantom operation… All the characters create the mosaic of life to be cherished instead of remaining miserable, malcontent and bitter. Even the mom who's dentist appointment is the saddest one has ever experienced finds joy and solace in herself and the arms of her husband who loves her and forgives himself. Very poignant and effective film-making here. I wish the best to this young writer/director who should shoot his next feature in Canada's West Coast if all goes well. Israel 2016| 98 min | Festival du Nouveau Cinema | Hebrew (English subtitles)