Projections - Movie Reviews

A Stranger Among Us

Veteran policewoman Emily Eden (Melanie Griffith) goes undercover in New York's Hasidic Jewish community to investigate the murder of a diamond merchant.

After toning down her appearance (darkening her hair color and lengthening her skirts) she moves into the Rebbe's (a respected spiritual teacher) home and befriends his daughter (Mia Sara) and is attracted to his son, Ariel (Eric Thal).

Ariel's not accustomed to a woman coming on to him and tries to rebuff Emily by explaining the 613 rules he must abide by, none of which includes having a relationship with an outsider.

Hardened by her profession, and totally ignorant of the Hasidic culture, Emily gravitates to their peaceful, caring lifestyle and decides to re-think her own values.

The murder mystery is not very thrilling and is incidental to the sweet love story that unfolds.

In a time when most recent films show love in terms of fleeting, noncommittal relationships, it's refreshing to see real characters having real feelings for one another.

All of the actors are outstanding, Mia Sara's (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) and Eric Thal's performances are understated and moving and this is Griffith's finest work.

Directory Sidney Lumet gives the audience wonderful glimpses into the serene Hasidic household mixed with the hustle of the New York streets.

A Stranger Among Us is a terrific movie filled with touching expressions of love.  It's one of the year's best.

It is rated PG-13 for mild profanity and violence.

A Stranger Among Us

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