Holy Lands (2018)

Content by Tony Macklin. Originally published on June 23, 2019 @ tonymacklin.net.

The pigs are cute in the indie film, Holy Lands.

They also have the best dialogue.

"Oink. Oink."

Holy Lands is the story of Harry (James Caan), a New Yorker, who in his dotage goes to Israel to raise pigs. If that seems to be an odd description, it still beats the execution.

It's difficult - if not impossible - to care about pretension.

For example, in the film, Harry's son (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) tells about how he had his first gay sexual experience on 9/11. Not 9/10 or 9/12. Why set it on 9/11? Only the trite know.

Harry's former wife Monica (Rosanna Arquette) and son - of course a gay playwright - live in New York. His daughter (Efrat Dor) travels from Israel to New York.

Harry has an adversarial friend (Tom Hollander) who is a rabbi in Israel.

Writer/director Amanda Sthers throws them all against the wailing wall.

Sthers has such narration, as a female saying, "How could it be that the tears I cry when they evaporate end up in the same clouds as the sea. Or the flushed water of a toilet." Huh?

The cast is more recognizable than in most indie productions, but they're hamstrung [pun] by the screenplay and the direction.

A while ago I had my last major interview - with James Caan. Fortunately, it was before the present film. We talked about The Godfather (1972), Thief (1981), and Rabbit, Run (1970). He had forgotten he played Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom. In Holy Lands he plays another Harry. Run, Jimmy, Run.

In Holy Lands, Cann has turned into Walter Matthau.

Throughout the entire film, on the screener I received, it says on the screen, "Not for distribution. @Cinedigm."

That's their idea. I can only concur.

© 2000-2019 Tony Macklin