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3 Films By Israeli Directors Top Los Angeles Times List

LOS ANGELES (JTA) – Three films directed by Israelis took center stage in the film listings of the Los Angeles Times’ senior critic Kenneth Turan.

In Hollywood few newspaper items are scrutinized more intensely than the film reviews and rankings in the Los Angeles Times, making Friday’s list a boon for the films and their directors.

The top spot in the “Our Movie Pick” section went to Joseph Cedar’s “Norman,” which tracks the ups, and mainly downs, of a small time New York fixer.

“Subtle, unsettling, often slyly amusing and always unexpected,” Turan wrote, adding: “This delicate, novelistic character study is what more American independent films would be like if more had thoughtful adult themes and gravitated toward nuance and complexity.”

The next Israeli pick on the list was Emil Ben-Shimon’s “The Women’s Balcony,” centering on a clash between a strict Orthodox rabbi and his more permissive congregants.

Finally, a half page of the paper was devoted to Asaph Polonsky’s feature debut “One Week and a Day,” which, of all unlikely topics, focuses on a short-tempered father played by Shai Avivi, who is  sitting shiva for his son who died of cancer.

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