Praying with Lior

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Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Praying with Lior asks whether someone with Down syndrome can be a “spiritual genius.” Many believe Lior is close to God -- at least that's what his family and community believe -- though he’s also a burden, a best friend, an inspiration and an embarrassment, depending on who is asked andPraying with Lior asks whether someone with Down syndrome can be a “spiritual genius.” Many believe Lior is close to God -- at least that's what his family and community believe -- though he’s also a burden, a best friend, an inspiration and an embarrassment, depending on who is asked and when. As this moving and entertaining documentary moves to its climax, Lior must pass through the gateway to manhood - his Bar Mitzvah. (First Run Features) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Apart from its intriguing religious implications, the film is also a compelling look at the family, community and congregational pillars that support Lior.
  2. Trachtman says she made the film to illustrate the plight of disabled Americans who must contend with houses of worship that lack handicapped access, but her documentary itself isn’t always so sensitive.
  3. Though the film gets a bit repetitive, in its moving climax Lior does more than just have his bar mitzvah -- he earns it.
  4. Patiently and delicately, Ms. Trachtman teases out the tricky dynamics of a family dealing with a disabled child.
  5. Praying With Lior engages us on so many levels it transcends its middle-class Jewish milieu.
  6. Thoroughly heartfelt. But though Trachtman alludes to the impact that Lior's special needs and local fame has had on his family, she seems uninterested in exploring the larger history of beliefs and traditions concerning mentally challenged people and their closeness to God.
  7. 60
    Trachtman’s movie is not technically accomplished--the camerawork is run-of-the-mill, the structure is rambling--but it’s redeemed by the deliciously complex, practically Balzac-ian family at its center.

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