“Why Sandra Bullock as the voice of Golda Meir?” I asked Richard Trank, director of the documentary “The Prime Ministers: The Pioneers” which opens October 18 at The Quad, in New York City.
Bullock, now starring in the mega-hit “Gravity” may leave filmgoers speechless, but as the voice of prime minister Meir, she lacks the prime minister’s earthy gravitas. Michael Douglas with whom I last spoke at the 2008 Elie Wiesel Foundation Gala he attended with his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones channels Yitzhak Rabin’s voice. Also stepping up to the mic are Leonard Nimoy as Levi Eshkol and Christoph Waltz — who won an Academy Award for his role as Col. Hans Landa in Quentin Tarrantino’s ”Inglorious Bastards” — as Menachem Begin. Trank explained: “We have always used celebrities as narrators for our prior [Moriah Films].”
Based on British-born Ambassador and ministerial advisor Yehuda Avner’s best-selling tome of the same name, Avner —as narrator — shares with the viewer the behind-the-scenes travails of Israel’s wars of survival and in Zelig-like relish, dishes insider tidbits. He recalls Eshkol saying of Aba Eban: “He does not know to make the right decision, only the right speech.”