7.3/10
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8 user 18 critic

The Matchmaker (2010)

Once I Was (original title)
During the summer of 1968 a teenage boy goes to work for a matchmaker who has survived the Holocaust - both their lives are forever altered.

Director:

Avi Nesher

Writers:

Amir Gutfreund (novel), Avi Nesher (screenplay)

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4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adir Miller ... Yankele Bride
Maya Dagan ... Clara Epstein
Dror Keren ... Meir the Librarian
Tuval Shafir Tuval Shafir ... Arik Burstein
Neta Porat Neta Porat ... Tamara
Bat-El Papura Bat-El Papura ... Sylvia
Dov Navon ... Yozi Burstein
Yarden Bar-Kochba ... Nili Burstein (as Yarden Bar Kochva)
Yael Levental ... Tikva Abadi (as Yael Leventhal)
Kobi Farag ... Moshe Abadi (as Kobi Faraj)
Tom Gal Tom Gal ... Benny Abadi
Eli Yatzpan ... Uncle Nadgi
Eyal Shehter Eyal Shehter ... Arik Burstein (Adult) (as Eyal Schechter)
Ya'ackov Bodo ... Advocate Segelson (as Yaacov Bodo)
Tair Leah Arad Tair Leah Arad ... Michal Abadi
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Storyline

During the summer of 1968 a teenage boy goes to work for a matchmaker who has survived the Holocaust - both their lives are forever altered.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He gets you what you need, not what you want!

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Israel

Language:

Hebrew

Release Date:

17 August 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A házasságközvetítõ See more »

Filming Locations:

Haifa, Israel

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,150,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,920
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Authors mentioned by Meir and Arik in the library include Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Shmuel Yosef Agnon (1888 -1970; Nobel Prize laureate writer and a major figure of modern Hebrew writing) and Yehiel Dinur (1909 - 2001; also spelled Dinoor or De-Nur; also known by his pen name Ka-Tsetnik, a Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor). See more »

Goofs

Arik has a promotional picture of John Wayne from the film, "The Cowboys:", on his wall. This film was not released until i972, 4 years after this film's setting. See more »

Crazy Credits

Composer Philippe Sarde wishes to dedicate his score in memory of his grandmother Marie. See more »

Connections

References The Cowboys (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Balkan Folk Songs
Accordion by Anatolie Gieko
Violin by Pavel Levine
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Noir thriller-cum-coming-of-age dramatic comedy that delights
12 July 2012 | by larry-411See all my reviews

Star Adir Miller plays Holocaust survivor Yankele Bride, a shady matchmaker with some mysterious operations on the side. He takes on a wide-eyed young apprentice, Arik (Tuval Shafir), who just wants an easy summer job. Naturally, the boy gets more than he bargained for in this classic tale of an ordinary man thrust into an extraordinary situation.

Miller, a veteran television actor, writer, and producer, is captivating (and a dead ringer for Vincent D'Onofrio). He dominates the screen, masterfully orchestrating the actors, and action, in every scene he's in. Shafir plays the streetwise assistant with a magnetic vulnerability that charms everyone who crosses his path. He's quite experienced himself as a teen idol in his native country, having grown up on Israeli TV as the star of a long-running hit series.

Writer/director Avi Nesher is a true veteran (this is his 16th feature), and it shows. Production values are high, befitting a director considered an icon of Israeli cinema. Veteran cinematographer Michel Abramowicz effectively captures the dramatic landscape of this Mediterranean port city, filled with bright blue skies, lush vegetation, and sweeping mountain vistas. "The Matchmaker" uses multiple locations, both exterior as well as interior. Arik's youthful world is brightly lit with a vibrant primary color palette -- not the pale, washed out blues and grays typical of modestly budgeted European films. In contrast, the seedy underbelly of the city within which Yankele operates is ominously dark and dusty, filled with shadows and potential dangers lurking around every corner.

Although set in Haifa in 1968, "The Matchmaker" could easily be a classic American noir thriller-cum-coming-of-age dramatic comedy. The evocative soundtrack of original late 60s songs is a plus (Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride," Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit"). Definitely worth repeat viewings.


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