Standout Chilean director Sebastián Lelio, a newly minted Oscar-winner following his film A Fantastic Woman’s recognition at the Academy Awards last month, helms this accomplished tale of a forbidden romance that continues to reignite despite being in defiance of the strict tenets of Orthodox Judaism.  From a screenplay by Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz adapted from the award-winning novel by Naomi Alderman, the film follows a woman as she returns to the community that shunned her decades earlier for an attraction to a childhood friend.

Reluctantly re-appearing in London after the death of her father, who was a looming figure in their secluded community, Ronit (Rachel Weisz) discovers that Esti (Rachel McAdams) and Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), her two closest friends as a teen, have married. More complicated still, she and Esti were romantically involved in their younger years, and Dovid is now a rabbi poised to assume the role of leadership Ronit’s father once held. Once reunited their passions resurface, despite what stands to be lost, as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality. The film premiered to acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, and is the first English language production for Lelio, who is also now re-imagining his 2013 festival favorite Gloria with an American cast including Julianne Moore, John Turturro and Michael Cera.

–Christopher Holmes