Touching but not gritty or schmaltzy story of holocaust survivors
Kudos to Blythe Danner and the rest of the strong cast for making a touching, believable story of holocaust survivors. 60 members of my family were slaughtered in the holocaust and I generally don't enjoy watching movies about it. However, this story dealt not with the tragedy and horror of that actual experience, but the legacy of survivors. Set in 1960's suburbia, the Tobias' story focuses on their relationship with their two sons. This is no Shine, however. The Tobias' are as loving and highly functional as two human beings could be after what they have been through. Yet their resilience is not overplayed-- their love for their children is sometimes crushing, their fear smothering. And the central conflict of the movie revolves around their difficulties letting go with the past and behaviors that allowed them to survive in the camps, but cut them off from living fully in a peaceful situation. Overall, the story reminded me of Maus meets Ordinary People, somehow escaping the minor key of each. Those looking for a gritty holocaust tale, or high melodrama should look elsewhere. Although the fine acting, sturdy script, and poignancy of the story kept me in a steady flow of tears, this is primarily a life-afirming story. I highly reccomend it!
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