To Dust (2018)
R | 1h 45min | Drama | 8 February 2019 (USA)
Synopsis: Shmuel, a Hasidic cantor, distraught by his wife’s untimely death, struggles to find religious solace while secretly obsessing over how her body will decay. As a clandestine partnership develops with Albert, a community college biology professor, the two embark on an increasingly literal undertaking into the underworld.
Opening in NY 2/8, expanding in to February and March
Review: TO DUST is a gem of a film that combines fantastic wit, deep writing, and spot on performances by the two main leads. Touted as a drama it is as much a dark comedy; but never at the expense of the theme or root story. Director Shawn Snyder allows his characters to breathe creating organic chemistry that is engaging and easy to watch.
Shmuel (Géza Röhrig) has lost his wife, and his Hasidic culture conflicts with his desire to know what is happening with her body in the ground. He calls upon the help of Albert a biology professor (Matthew Broderick) to help explain the process. What ensues is a hilarious partnership between an unlikely duo. Albert is taken out of his comfort zone as Schmuel comes up with wild “processes” to find his answers.
This could be my fave role of Broderick. He is funny and sincere as he tries to wade through the waters of Schmuel’s situation. Röhrig too gives us an endearing widower who is dealing with the grief the only way he can.
TO DUST is rated R for language and some disturbing images.