Helen Mirren is certainly no stranger to playing historical women, having portrayed three English monarchs (Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Charlotte, and Queen Elizabeth II --- twice!), a Russian Empress (Catherine the Great), and an infamous American gun heiress (Sarah Winchester). So, the fact that she's doing it again shouldn't surprise anyone, though it's unlikely anyone could have guessed what her next real-life role would be
Clad in a fairly significant amount of prosthetics, Mirren stars in Golda, a biopic about Golda Meir, the first female Prime Minister of Israel. The only woman in the Israeli cabinet, she became a surprisingly effective military leader when her country faced simultaneous attacks from Syria and Egypt in 1973.
Written by Nicholas Martin (Florence Foster Jenkins), Golda is set during the tense 19 days of the Yom Kippur War, as Meir is faced with the possibility of Israel’s complete destruction. The conflict between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by President Anwar Sadat of Egypt ratcheted up Cold War tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
To survive, Meir must navigate overwhelming odds, and it is her leadership that would ultimately decide the fate of her nation and leave her with a controversial legacy around the world.
Here's the synopsis.
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.
The film also stars Liev Schrieber (Ray Donovan) as U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissenger and Camille Cottin (Call My Agent), as Lou Kaddar, Meir’s longtime personal assistant. Its ensemble also features Rami Heuberger (Schindler’s List), Lior Ashkenzi (Foxtrot), Ellie Piercy (Black Mirror), Ed Stoppard (Judy), Rotem Keinan, Dvir Benedek, Dominic Mafham, Ben Caplan, Kit Rakusen, and Emma Davies.
Golda is directed by Guy Nattiv, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind the short film, Skin, which was later adapted into the feature of the same name.
“As someone who grew up with Golda as a heroic myth, almost beyond human, and as the only female prime minister in the history of the Middle East, I want people to see how Helen adds a brilliant layer of soul, wisdom, humor and courage to the character of Golda,” Nattiv told Deadline prior to the film's world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival.
“Golda was the wrong person at the wrong time in the wrong place, leading a country on the verge of destruction. It is still today considered a huge trauma for Israelis. Our film is a deep dive into this tragedy," he said.
Golda is slated to hit theaters on August 25.