Fans of Oscar-winning Best Picture The Shape of Water will love Rachel Weisz's new lesbian love drama Disobedience, according to the British actress.
The Constant Gardener star joins forces with Rachel McAdams for the movie, about two women who have to hide their love for one another in their Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood.
The film is based on author Naomi Alderman's 2006 novel of the same name, and although there are clear differences between Disobedience and director Guillermo del Toro's fish romance tale, actress and producer Weisz insists the two films share the same general theme.
"This story's set in a tiny community in North London, near where I grew up," Rachel explained. "It's an orthodox Jewish community where... spirituality is a beautiful thing, it's nourishing, there's a beautiful community, but if you're gay, you can't express your sexuality, so it's a rich place for a story to be told...
"There's drama, because Rachel McAdams' character and my character are not free to love who they want to love."
"(It's) kinda the same way as like The Shape of Water - different genre, fantasy, period, but it's like, how can you be free to love who you want (to love)," shared Weisz, who actually co-produced the picture with Frida Torresblanco, a frequent collaborator of del Toro's.
Disobedience, directed by Sebastian Lelio, premiered at New York's Tribeca Film Festival on Tuesday (24Apr18), and although Rachel didn't set out to make a lesbian drama, she is thrilled by the generally positive reviews so far, because it took her a while to find the perfect project to adapt for the big screen.
"I really wanted to tell a story about two women in relation to each other," she said. "It could have been about a female friendship, and so I was reading lots of books about female friendship, and it always ended up being - I mean, there may be some books that I didn't find - but it always ended up the women getting into fights over a guy, and I was like, 'No, this isn't the story that I was looking for'.
"So I ended up finding lesbian love stories, women in relation to one another as lovers."
Heaping praise on her co-star and movie lover McAdams, Weisz added, "She is just so touching in this film, and she makes a huge transition.
"It's the first time she's played (an) English (character). She had to become an Orthodox Jewish woman, and she didn't know anything about the religion before; she had to do deep immersion. And she's just wonderful to work with. She's soulful and vulnerable and strong and intelligent, and she's pretty heartbreaking (in the film)."
And Weisz is impressed by the Canadian's accent onscreen: "I can vouch for that as a Brit - she got it down!," she smiled.