THE HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER begins in media res as the titlular character at a large Israeli industrial-strength bakery is given the assignment to head off a very bad newspaper article about that bakery and one of the foreign workers in its employ. (Evidently, in Israel, human resources sometimes does double duty as PR flack.) Viewers are promptly put smack in the middle of this manager's life, as he scrambles first to learn what exactly has transpired, and then find out why and how before he can begin to do anything about it. A journalist ready to pounce on bad corporate behavior has his recorder, camera and steel-trap mind turned on, to better crucify the company and its flack.
Mark Ivanir (above, right, last seen here playing Jesse Eisenberg's dad in Holy Rollers) is terrific -- quick on his feet and with his brain, but coming up against things he finds enormously difficult to handle. The employee in question was a woman (above, left), and women are key in this movie: from the manager's boss, with whom he may have (or have had) more than a working relationship, to his estranged wife and the daughter he loves so much and who mirrors somewhat that foreign employee, to whom he becomes a kind of after-the-fact father. Even the employee's own mother (below, shown in foreground, right) rattles this movie's cage rather fiercely.
Walter Reade on Saturday, January 15, at 6:30 and again on Thursday, January 20, at 3:30 and 8:30. If you can't make these screenings, you 'll have the chance again, as the film will definitely be opening later this year. I suspect our Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will look highly upon Mr. Riklis' movie.