Rana's Wedding

Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    100
    Among the finest films made in the Middle East. This small, subtle gem offers a vivid portrait of life in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, presenting its message with an intelligence and vibrancy that celebrates the human spirit in an environment where humanity is routinely crushed and assaulted.
  2. A bittersweet film that tells the story of Palestinian life as eloquently as anything ever done.
  3. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    80
    Though shot from the Palestinian P.O.V., the Dutch/Palestinian Film Foundation co-production is remarkably balanced, offering a convinced message of hope for the future.
  4. Ms. Khoury, often filmed in close-up, gives a deeply sensitive, unsentimental performance, and the feelings that crowd on her face (sometimes more than one at a time) run the gamut from despair to ambivalence to hysterical frustration to tenderness and joy.
  5. 80
    The movie's wistful tone leavened with breaks into farce recalls Elia Suleiman's superbly controlled "Chronicle of a Disappearance."
  6. Starts out slowly, unfolding a family history through the poetic use of black-and-white photographs -- blending the figures of Rana's ancestors into the frame as if they still watched the family.
  7. Excellent acting, and a plot that combines suspense, whimsy, and political resonance make this Palestinian comedy-drama an unusual treat.
  8. 75
    This black comedy is a small gem.
  9. 75
    The movie is passable as a story but fascinating as a document. It gives a more complete visual picture of the borders, the Palestinian settlements and the streets of Jerusalem than we ever see on the news.
  10. 75
    An invitation to see something a little less pretty, and potentially more enduring.
  11. 70
    Agreeably soft at heart, a fun and progressive entertainment that above all wants to give love a wide berth, no matter what imposing obstacles have to be cleared from the aisle first.
  12. Both wry and sobering, if such a thing is possible. In Jerusalem, apparently, it's inevitable.
  13. 70
    Clara Khoury delivers a performance that is luminous, fierce and intensely focused as the title character of Rana's Wedding.
  14. The film effectively conveys the fears and frustrations of Palestinians struggling in a country that treats them as the enemy.
  15. 70
    Given the tension dogging her every step, I wondered if this would end in bloodshed, but Abu-Assad opts for a more hopeful conclusion, making his film -- strange as it may seem -- a comedy.
  16. 63
    Strong acting from Khoury saves the weak storyline.
  17. 60
    Khoury may be a few years too old to play a minor still squirming under her father's thumb, but her performance as a timid young woman who finds strength while looking for a husband is quite affecting.
  18. It's tempting to read Abu-Assad's view of his ostentatiously wealthy heroine and her debutante narcissism as satirical of a certain cross-section of modernized Palestinians amid the occupation, but the placid, earnest way her dilemma takes up emotional space in his film suggests half-bakery.
  19. While the film, directed by Hany Abu-Assad, provides a vivid portrait of the landscape, its dramatic aspects are less impressive, with the contrived plot and paper-thin characterizations basically serving to provide a framework for its impressionistic portrait.

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