Review: ‘Life is Life’

A melancholy dramedy about missed connections and libidinal vicissitudes, Michal Bat-Adam's "Life Is Life" likely will satisfy discerning auds during its global fest tour. Israeli-produced pic could also generate interest as homevid and niche cable fare.

A melancholy dramedy about missed connections and libidinal vicissitudes, Michal Bat-Adam’s “Life Is Life” likely will satisfy discerning auds during its global fest tour. Israeli-produced pic could also generate interest as homevid and niche cable fare.

Deftly entwining flashbacks and fantasy sequences with a ruefully seriocomic scenario, “Life” focuses on Macky (well-cast Moshe Ivgui), a fiftysomething Tel Aviv novelist and college professor who’s tossed into a creative and emotional tailspin when his thirtysomething mistress, Ayala (attractive Yael Abecassis), ends their illicit affair. Macky, a compulsive womanizer, is incapable of writing — and, perhaps worse, unable to perform with other lovers — after Ayala returns to normalcy with her husband and young daughter. Ironically, however, Ayala is abandoned by her discontented spouse — largely, but not entirely, because of her affair with the author — even as Macky rediscovers conjugal bliss with his wife. Bat-Adam evidences generosity of spirit and nonjudgmental insight as she subtly implies Macky and Ayala are torn apart by the very thing that initially drew them together: Wistful longing for true love with a kindred spirit. Daniel Mizrahi’s jaunty musical score provides effective counterpoint for sometimes painful, sometimes playful interludes.

Life is Life

Israel

Production

A Moshe Mizrahi production in association with the Israeli Film Fund. Produced by Michal Bat-Adam, Moshe Mizrahi. Executive producer, Lily Shasha. Directed, written by Michal Bat-Adam.

Crew

Camera (color), Yoav Kosh; editor, Sharon Guetta-Jacobi; music, Daniel Mizrahi; art director, Ariela Vidzer; costume designer, Gali Boneh. Reviewed on videocassette, Houston, April 20, 2004. (In WorldFest/Houston.) Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Moshe Ivgui, Yael Abecassis, Hani Nahmias, Igal Sadeh, Rivka Gur.
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