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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
A Price Above Rubies
Directed by Boaz Yakin
Miramax 03/98 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - sexuality, brief language
Sonia (Renee Zellweger) has dutifully married Mendel (Glenn Fitzgerald), a Jewish Orthodox scholar who spends all of his time teaching, studying, and praying. The birth of their first son does not quell her yearning for a fuller and richer life. Her brother-in-law Sender (Christopher Eccleston) senses Sonia's restlessness and sets her up as a representative in a jewelry business. Of course, the price for this assistance is an insult to her body and soul.
Fearing that he has lost his wife to the world, the strait-laced Mendel takes her for counseling to his beloved rebbe (John Randolph) and then to a Jewish psychologist. Rachel (Julianna Margulies), Mendel's sister, speaks for the community when she condemns Sonia for selfishly abandoning her family. But Sonia finds an outlet for her passion by championing the work of Ramon (Allen Payne), a Puerto Rican sculptor and jewelry artist.
Renee Zellweger, so convincing in Jerry McGuire, gives an ardent performance as Sonia, a woman whose spiritual journey compels her to rebel against religion in order to express the passion that is within her soul. She receives the help of several allies including the spirit of her deceased brother, a mysterious wandering woman, and the rebbe's wife. Writer and director Boaz Yakin has fashioned a beguiling drama about the deep yearning we all have to express our heart's desire. The film's title is from Proverbs 31:10.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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