Golda is a ticking-clock thriller set during the tense 19 days of the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir (Helen Mirren), faced with the potential of Israel’s complete destruction, must navigate overwhelming odds, a skeptical cabinet, and a complex relationship with US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Liev Schreiber), with millions of lives in the balance. Her tough leadership and compassion would ultimately decide the fate of her nation and leave her with a controversial legacy around the world.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Daniel S. comments, “Golda is a somewhat bland, but interesting look at how Israel’s prime minister from 1969 to 1974, Golda Meir confronted the forces that threatened her country. Helen Mirren’s performance as Golda Meir is the film’s strongest asset. Mirren commits to the role and transforms herself physically.” See his full review below.
By Daniel S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Golda is a somewhat bland, but interesting look at how Israel’s prime minister from 1969 to 1974, Golda Meir confronted the forces that threatened her country. Aside from its monotone nature, Golda contains award worthy performances, and visually striking cinematography.
When Egypt, Syria, and Jordan launched an attack on Israel, Golda Meir (Helen Mirren), Israel’s determined Prime Minister, managed internal conflicts within her predominantly male cabinet and raced against time to avert disaster during the 19-day span of the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Golda portrays her intense struggle to preserve Israel.
Helen Mirren’s performance as Golda Meir is the film’s strongest asset. Mirren commits to the role and transforms herself physically. Meir’s struggle to grapple and navigate Israel’s ongoing war is depicted flawlessly, along with the deep feelings of stress and terror seen in her eyes. Her patriotism and profound love for the citizens of Israel is clear. Liev Schreiber has a minor, but pivotal role as Henry Kissinger and delivers a performance just as remarkable. His dynamic with Meir is one of the film’s most enjoyable aspects due to their rocky relationship. Golda’s runtime is definitely felt. While it sets a necessary somber mood for the gravity of the situation, it makes Golda void of visual variety. The film maintains a constant gloomy color tone, which is artistic, but this makes the film very tedious to watch. Even with its ticking clock pace, Golda is filled with excessive verbal communication instead of actual events occurring. Showing instead of telling would make Golda’s stress and the growing tension more believable. Another huge highlight of Golda is Jasper Wolf’s cinematography. Golda is filled with unique and stunning shots and camera movements. Shots are used to express the tension with rapid camera motion along with still, more mellow shots. This assists the actors’ performances by improving the impact of their emotion.
Golda’s message is the importance of unity and perseverance in difficult times. Despite all odds, Golda Meir pushes through obstacles in order to protect her country of Israel. She stands not for herself, but for all in trouble and in need of hope. Her endless patriotism and devotion drives her to fight for Israel and unify all. Parents should be aware that Golda is centered around a very heavy topic and includes violence and profanity.
I give Golda 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It will be released in theaters August 25, 2023.