The Trailer for the Jason Schwartzman and Carol Kane Bat Mitzvah Movie Is Here

"Between the Temples" looks to be a tangibly tender and hilarious oddball comedy.

We finally have a trailer for “Between the Temples,” the super Jewy oddball comedy starring Jewish actors Jason Schwartzman and Carol Kane!

Per Kveller, “Kane plays Carla, a retired music teacher who has a new lease on life. She meets an old student, Ben Gottlieb, who is reeling from a devastating loss, taking shelter living with his two mothers and working as a cantor in the local synagogue, while both his faith and his spirit feel broken. He takes on the job of preparing Carla for her bat mitzvah, and the two form a tender romance.”

Though the film already sounds perfect in writing, the trailer teases a tangible tenderness and hilarity of Schwartzman and Kane’s performances. In one part of the trailer, Ben lays down in front of an 18-wheeler in an attempt to take his own life. “Keep going! Come on,” Ben darkly but uproariously yells at the truck driver when he stops, leaving the cantor unharmed.

In another part, Ben and Carla reconnect at a bar. “I work down at Temple Sinai. I’m a cantor,” he tells Carla.

“So interesting, because I’m an Aquarius,” Carla enthusiastically replies, only to learn that Ben said “cantor,” not “Cancer.”

The trailer also gives viewers a first look at the performances of the talented — and mostly Jewish —ensemble cast. Legendary “Saturday Night Live” writer Robert Smigel plays Rabbi Bruce, Caroline Aaron and Dolly de Leon play Ben’s moms, Madeline Weinstein plays Rabbi Bruce’s daughter Gabby, and it seems will even get a bit of Pauline Chalamet in a minor role.

“It’s so courageous, women who reinvent themselves, especially when you come from a different time when that wasn’t allowed,” Carol Kane told Vulture at the Sundance Film Festival, where the movie first premiered. As my colleague Lior Zaltzman at Kveller first noted, Kane was just coming of age herself when bat mitzvahs began to become popular in certain Jewish congregations in the U.S. Though she never had her own bat mitzvah, the legendary “Hester Street” actress did actually learn the Torah portion she chanted in the movie.

“One of my huge takeaways was honestly just this idea of contributing that what you don’t know,” Schwartzman added to the same conversation. Schwartzman grew up in an interfaith Jewish-Catholic household and learned more about Judaism than he ever had to play Cantor Ben.

As for Madeline Weinstein, she told Vulture that “Between the Temples” makes her think of the Yiddish word “doikayt.”

“It’s a really beautiful concept of fully living and making community wherever you are that kind of comes out of diaspora. But I was just thinking about that concept in relation to this movie,” Madeline explained.

Between the Temples” is coming to theaters on August 23, 2024.

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

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