There were no fake sobs or glycerine tears in the seven-minute opening shot of Natalie Portman weeping in extreme close-up. She clearly brought the pain to this Israeli road picture about two women — a heartbroken American student (Jerusalem-born Portman) and a no-nonsense chauffeur (Hanna Laslo) — who bully and cajole their way across Middle Eastern borders. But the ham-fisted allegory about clashing cultures gets bogged down by its good intentions and woe-is-us speechifying in Free Zone. EXTRAS A sleep-inducing radio interview with director Amos Gitai. B-
Genre: Drama; Starring: Natalie Portman, Carmen Maura; Director: Amos Gitai; Author: Amos Gitai, Marie-Jose Sanselme; Release Date Limited: 04/07/2006; Runtime (in minutes): 90; MPAA Rating: Unrated; Distributor: New Yorker
Posted May 25 2007 — 12:00 AM EDT
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