Holy Lands

Holy Lands

Retiring from his life as New York cardiologist Harry Rosenmerck decides to give it all up and raise pigs in the Holy Land. However this does not pass without incident. With his hypochondriac wife Monica (Rosanna Arquette), immature daughter Annabelle (Efrat Dor) and playwright son David all on his tail, Harry is keen to keep them all at an emotional distance. However when Harry’s pig farm catches the attention of the local rabbi (Tom Hollander) and then the Catholics also decide they want to take away his land, Harry’s idyllic retirement plans quickly come under threat.

… ‘Holy Land’s’ holes are actually the sum of its parts.

Written and directed by Amanda Sthers from her novel, ‘Holy Lands’ is a disjointed and simplistic comedy drama about dislocation. Whilst it trivialises the ongoing dispute between the Israelis and the Palestinians for comedic effect, it still has a few endearing moments to offer. The reason for this is the cast.

Again sprung from his own oft-announced retirement James Caan shows that he is not just Sonny Corleone but a much more rounded and nuanced performer when the opportunity affords it. Cast opposite the exquisite under-player that is Tom Hollander, their scenes together become the real heart of the movie. That said, Rosanna Arquette also proves that age is no barrier to her talents and Jonathan Rhys Myers hits the target as Harry’s troubled son David.

As a comedy drama about mortality, where parents become the children of their children, ‘Holy Lands’ tries to lace humour with some sobering truths. Bitter sweet and with some decent bite-sized morsels in-between, ‘Holy Land’s’ holes are actually the sum of its parts. Taken in isolation many scenes are enjoyable, but taken as a whole this overly simplistic pill might be hard for many to swallow.