September 11, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

A Price Above Rubies

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Christopher Eccleston, Renee Zellweger, Edie Falco, Glenn Fitzgerald, Kim Hunter, Julianna Margulies, Allen Payne
director
Boaz Yakin
genre
Drama
We gave it a C-

Renée Zellweger glimmers with pent-up passion as Sonia, a young Jewish woman chafing in her marriage to a Hasidic scholar. But she’s the only bright facet of this wanna-be art-house succés d’estime, which mistakes cliché and contrivance for dramatic development. After her brother-in-law (Eccleston) forces himself on her, then gives her a good job in the diamond trade, Sonia becomes a liberated woman with preposterous suddenness, haggling with merchants, schmoozing with customers, and falling in love with a Puerto Rican jewelry designer. Is it any wonder that her rigidly religious community casts her out? In the third act of A Price Above Rubies, Sonia finds inner peace as abruptly and unconvincingly as her other tectonic spurts of personal growth. It’s a happy ending only she can feel good about. C-

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