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Synonymes – Nadav Lapid

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #37. Synonymes – Nadav Lapid

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #37. Synonymes – Nadav Lapid


Israeli director Nadav Lapid breaks into French cinema with his long-gestating third feature Synonymes (Synonyms). Produced by Said Ben Said and Michel Merkt, the young cast includes Louise Chevillotte (of Garrel’s Lover for a Day), Quentin Dolmaire (or Desplechin’s My Golden Days) and Laetitia Dosch. The partially autobiographical project will be in Hebrew and French and newcomer Tom Mercier will play the lead. Lapid competed in Locarno with his 2011 debut Policeman, which won a Special Jury Prize. His 2014 sophomore film The Kindergarten Teacher (read review) was a Special Screening in the Cannes Critics’ Week (which was remade in 2018 starring Maggie Gyllenhaal).

Gist: Originally announced under the title Micro Robert, Lapid’s Synonyms tells the tale of a young Israeli man who absconds to Paris to flee his nationality, aided by his trusty Franco-Israeli dictionary.

Release Date/Prediction: Lapid went into production in Paris in late 2017, which led to speculations of its appearance somewhere on the festival circuit in 2018. Presumably, we would see Lapid, with Said and Merkt’s assistance, return to Cannes, potentially in either Un Certain Regard or Directors’ Fortnight.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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