If you’re looking to watch Jewish/Jewish-ish actors and/or Jewish/Jewish-ish characters on the big screen this summer, and we know you are, look no further. The following is a batch of blockbusters, indie flicks, and foreign films, from Hebrew- and Yiddish-language dramas to raunchy female-driven comedies—movies for every member of the tribe, opening between Mother’s Day weekend (OK, we’re jumping the summer gun a bit, apologies) and the peak of the warm months.
Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story (May 12)
Marriages might not often last in Hollywood, but Daniel Raim’s sweet documentary Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story, which Tablet columnist Marjorie Ingall loved, sheds light on one that did: the relationship of power couple and creative team Harold and Lillian Michelson, whose storyboard work and film research respectively shaped iconic movies like West Side Story and The Birds. Through interviews with the couple (Harold passed away in 2007, but Lillian is still alive) and their friends, including Mel Brooks, Danny DeVito, and Francis Ford Coppola, Raim introduces audiences to a slice of film history that might otherwise go untold.
Snatched (May 12)
In Snatched, an uptight mother (Goldie Hawn) and her free-spirited daughter (Amy Schumer) become embroiled in a madcap plot while on vacation in South America. And it’s going to take everything they’ve got―including repairing their relationship―to escape from the jungle.
The Wedding Plan (May 19)
Writer-director Rama Burshtein’s romantic comedy The Wedding Plan (exclusive scene here) offers a light-hearted look at the Orthodox community in Israel. When Michal (Noa Koler), a bride-to-be, gets dumped by her fiancé one month before their wedding, she is determined to find a suitable groom so she can go ahead with the nuptials as planned.
Band Aid (June 2)
In Band Aid, Zoe Lister-Jones’ directorial debut, a married couple tries to make amends by forming a band and writing songs about their fights. Several cast members, including Lister-Jones herself, Adam Pally, and Susie Essman, are Jewish.
Wonder Woman (June 2)
Gal Gadot’s turn as the titular Amazonian warrior in Wonder Woman (opposite Chris Pine, no less) is certainly generating a lot of buzz. The Israeli actress and model first brandished the golden lasso in 2016’s Batman v Superman: The Dawn of Justice.
Past Life (June 2)
Israeli filmmaker Avi Nesher’s Past Life, set in 1977 Jerusalem, tells the story of two sisters (Nelly Tagar and Joy Rieger) who are determined to unearth their father’s (Doron Tavory) untold―and possibly dangerous―secrets from his life in Poland during World War II.
My Cousin Rachel (June 9)
Based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier, My Cousin Rachel stars Rachel Weisz in the unsettling title role: a woman suspected of murder by a relative who has fallen in love with her.
Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe (June 16)
Those with an appetite for moody biopics should check out Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe. The film, by German director Maria Schrader, focuses on the years the Austrian Jewish writer (portrayed by Josef Hader) spent in exile in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, New York, and Petrópolis while evading the Nazis.
Rough Night (June 16)
In Rough Night, pandemonium ensues at a bachelorette party when a male stripper dies. Directed and co-written by Lucia Aniello with her partner Paul W. Downs―you’ll recognize their names from Broad City―this comedy features a largely Jewish ensemble (Ilana Glazer, Scarlett Johansson, Zoë Kravitz, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, and Downs).
Menashe (July 28)
Menashe, Joshua Z. Weinstein’s portrait of a Hasidic man in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood (played by Menashe Lustig, the real-life Hasid whose life the film is based on), offers a touching look at the intersection of tradition and fatherhood. Most of the dialogue is in Yiddish, to boot.
Person To Person (July 28)
Adapted from his 2014 short film of the same title, Dustin Guy Defa’s Person To Person is a New York-based ensemble drama featuring Michael Cera, Abbi Jacobson, and Tavi Gevinson.