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Movie review: 'Yossi' gently explores life after grief

Published March 15, 2013 8:19 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Israeli director Eytan Fox's drama "Yossi" is a heartfelt character study, a tender portrait of someone trying to move on from grief.

At 34, Yossi (Ohad Knoller) is a young cardiologist who doesn't advertise to his colleagues that he's gay, which leads to awkward situations with a lonely nurse (Ola Schur-Selektar) and a horndog colleague ("Footnote" star Lior Ashkenazi). Yossi decides to take a vacation, and at a beach resort encounters Tom (Oz Zehavi), a young Israeli soldier who's happily open about his homosexuality.

Tom reminds Yossi of Jagger, a soldier Yossi loved and lost a decade earlier — and featured in Fox's 2002 movie "Yossi & Jagger." Fortunately, Fox and rookie screenwriter Itay Segal plant enough information along the way that it's not necessary to see the earlier film.

Fox and Segal set the table for Knoller to deliver a charming and low-key performance as Yossi, anxious to make a connection while still nursing a hole in his heart. The story is not a conclusion, but an interesting chapter in a life still unfolding.

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HHH

'Yossi'

Opens Friday, March 15, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; not rated but probably R for explicit nudity, sexuality and language; in Hebrew with subtitles; 85 minutes.