Apr 12, 2021
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Dark wit is served up for Passover in Nora’s Will

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

Nora’s Will is the English title for this dark comedy out of Mexico, directed by first-time filmmaker and writer, Mariana Chenillo. Originally titled in Spanish as Cinco Dias Sin Nora (Five Days Without Nora), the film possesses an understated elegance, both in cinematography and script, which has won it almost a dozen film festival awards from around the world. Currently playing in select theatres in Toronto and across Canada, this is a film well worth seeking out.

The film begins when Jose finds out that Nora, the woman he’d been married to for 30 years and then divorced for another 20, has committed suicide. Having made numerous failed attempts throughout her life, her eventual success seemed inevitable to him. What he wasn’t prepared for were the plans she made for him and the family for after her death.

Jose has lost his faith in God and His institutions a while ago but his son, Reuben, is still fiercely religious. At the request of Reuben’s father-in-law a local rabbi arrives to ‘help’ make arrangements and explains to Jose that due to the celebration of the Passover festivities, if Nora is not buried that same day, they will have to wait almost five days to be able to carry out the burial.

It turns out that before she died, Nora devised a Machiavellian plan in order for to bring her family together. But she missed something; a mysterious photograph left under the bed will lead to an unexpected outcome that will remind us that sometimes the greatest love stories are hidden in the smallest places.

The film finds it’s humor in the conflicting desires of the characters in the ways they wish to honor the deceased, the restrictions of religious belief (not only can she not be buried on Passover, but Jewish religion frowns on suicide) and Jose himself, who rebels against the overwhelming meddling of the rabbi and the posthumous control of his ex-wife in sly and unusual ways, like ordering a Christian burial ‘to go’. The rabbi might have been upset, but his granddaughters couldn’t be happier spending the rest of the film playing games in the empty cross-shaped coffin.

Centered mainly in Nora’s apartment with the grace of a George Bernard Shaw play, Chenillo masterfully captures the quiet grief and absurdity of the story with a beautiful stillness. The art direction, cinematography and postproduction colours create a palate similar to fine linen or parchment paper, which contributes to the feeling of fragility, and the sense of numbness that works well with the state of mind of preparing a loved one’s funeral.

Nora’s Will is a charming, exquisite story of love and death and sausage pizza. A rare and surprising cinematic treat.

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Front Page, Industry News

Dark wit is served up for Passover in Nora’s Will

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

Nora’s Will is the English title for this dark comedy out of Mexico, directed by first-time filmmaker and writer, Mariana Chenillo. Originally titled in Spanish as Cinco Dias Sin Nora (Five Days Without Nora), the film possesses an understated elegance, both in cinematography and script, which has won it almost a dozen film festival awards from around the world. Currently playing in select theatres in Toronto and across Canada, this is a film well worth seeking out.

The film begins when Jose finds out that Nora, the woman he’d been married to for 30 years and then divorced for another 20, has committed suicide. Having made numerous failed attempts throughout her life, her eventual success seemed inevitable to him. What he wasn’t prepared for were the plans she made for him and the family for after her death.

Jose has lost his faith in God and His institutions a while ago but his son, Reuben, is still fiercely religious. At the request of Reuben’s father-in-law a local rabbi arrives to ‘help’ make arrangements and explains to Jose that due to the celebration of the Passover festivities, if Nora is not buried that same day, they will have to wait almost five days to be able to carry out the burial.

It turns out that before she died, Nora devised a Machiavellian plan in order for to bring her family together. But she missed something; a mysterious photograph left under the bed will lead to an unexpected outcome that will remind us that sometimes the greatest love stories are hidden in the smallest places.

The film finds it’s humor in the conflicting desires of the characters in the ways they wish to honor the deceased, the restrictions of religious belief (not only can she not be buried on Passover, but Jewish religion frowns on suicide) and Jose himself, who rebels against the overwhelming meddling of the rabbi and the posthumous control of his ex-wife in sly and unusual ways, like ordering a Christian burial ‘to go’. The rabbi might have been upset, but his granddaughters couldn’t be happier spending the rest of the film playing games in the empty cross-shaped coffin.

Centered mainly in Nora’s apartment with the grace of a George Bernard Shaw play, Chenillo masterfully captures the quiet grief and absurdity of the story with a beautiful stillness. The art direction, cinematography and postproduction colours create a palate similar to fine linen or parchment paper, which contributes to the feeling of fragility, and the sense of numbness that works well with the state of mind of preparing a loved one’s funeral.

Nora’s Will is a charming, exquisite story of love and death and sausage pizza. A rare and surprising cinematic treat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Dark wit is served up for Passover in Nora’s Will

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

Nora’s Will is the English title for this dark comedy out of Mexico, directed by first-time filmmaker and writer, Mariana Chenillo. Originally titled in Spanish as Cinco Dias Sin Nora (Five Days Without Nora), the film possesses an understated elegance, both in cinematography and script, which has won it almost a dozen film festival awards from around the world. Currently playing in select theatres in Toronto and across Canada, this is a film well worth seeking out.

The film begins when Jose finds out that Nora, the woman he’d been married to for 30 years and then divorced for another 20, has committed suicide. Having made numerous failed attempts throughout her life, her eventual success seemed inevitable to him. What he wasn’t prepared for were the plans she made for him and the family for after her death.

Jose has lost his faith in God and His institutions a while ago but his son, Reuben, is still fiercely religious. At the request of Reuben’s father-in-law a local rabbi arrives to ‘help’ make arrangements and explains to Jose that due to the celebration of the Passover festivities, if Nora is not buried that same day, they will have to wait almost five days to be able to carry out the burial.

It turns out that before she died, Nora devised a Machiavellian plan in order for to bring her family together. But she missed something; a mysterious photograph left under the bed will lead to an unexpected outcome that will remind us that sometimes the greatest love stories are hidden in the smallest places.

The film finds it’s humor in the conflicting desires of the characters in the ways they wish to honor the deceased, the restrictions of religious belief (not only can she not be buried on Passover, but Jewish religion frowns on suicide) and Jose himself, who rebels against the overwhelming meddling of the rabbi and the posthumous control of his ex-wife in sly and unusual ways, like ordering a Christian burial ‘to go’. The rabbi might have been upset, but his granddaughters couldn’t be happier spending the rest of the film playing games in the empty cross-shaped coffin.

Centered mainly in Nora’s apartment with the grace of a George Bernard Shaw play, Chenillo masterfully captures the quiet grief and absurdity of the story with a beautiful stillness. The art direction, cinematography and postproduction colours create a palate similar to fine linen or parchment paper, which contributes to the feeling of fragility, and the sense of numbness that works well with the state of mind of preparing a loved one’s funeral.

Nora’s Will is a charming, exquisite story of love and death and sausage pizza. A rare and surprising cinematic treat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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